More MS news articles for August 2002

MRC to Consult on Funding Priorities

Aug. 01, 2002
Health Media Ltd
The Medical Research Council (MRC) spends about 20 million a year on more than 150 clinical trials, most of which are "phase III randomised control trials". Research areas being financed include cancer and cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. The MRC also funds a small number of early-phase trials, such as the HIV vaccine trial based in Oxford and Kenya. The council now wants to find out what stakeholders think its role should be, if there are any gaps in the programme of clinical research and how the trials should be prioritised. Professor Alan McGregor of the Guy's, King's and St Thomas' School of Medicine in London, who is chairing the review, said the MRC's clinical trials were now at a crossroads. "The demand for objective evidence to underpin and drive changes in clinical practice is greater than ever before and the pace of change in many areas of medicine means that new treatments are sometimes superseded relatively quickly and evidence of their effectiveness must be generated rapidly," he said. He said the council wanted to re-examine its approach to funding trials and to develop strategies and mechanisms to "meet the challenges of the next decade and maintain the MRC's position as one of the main funders of this important areas of research". The consultation, which ends on August 30, takes the form of an online questionnaire. Further details can be obtained from the MRC.

© Health Media Group 2002