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Britain Speeds up Clinical Trials

Jan 23, 2003
Reuters Health

British drug companies and regulators said on Thursday they have agreed a new way of working that would speed up clinical trials of new medicines.

The deal, signed by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and the Department of Health, means that companies will no longer have to start from scratch each time they want approval to start a new trial.

"Instead of having to work out an agreement each time from scratch, they will have a ready-made template agreement on the shelf," an ABPI spokesman said.

He said British industry had been worried by the growing number of clinical trials being done in Eastern European countries because they were less burdened by bureaucracy and they could work faster.

Health Minister, Lord Philip Hunt said: "This new agreement is good news for the pharmaceutical industry, clinical researchers and patients. It means that trials start earlier, more patients are recruited into trials, and the NHS and patients will get quicker access to new drugs."

Dr. Richard Tiner, Director of Medicine at the ABPI said this was an "excellent example of the way in which industry and Government can work together to ensure that Britain remains competitive with other countries."

© 2003 Reuters Ltd