Responding to an independent report by Lord O'Shaughnessy on commercial clinical trials in the UK, Dr Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Innovation at Asthma + Lung UK, said:
“I’m pleased Lord O’Shaughnessy’s review highlights the areas where clinical trials aren’t currently working in the UK and that the government proposes to accept his recommendations. Clinical trials are an essential part of developing new and better treatments for people. However, without a consistent way to connect people in need of treatment with the appropriate trial, the system supporting clinical research in the UK breaks down and faces collapse. This undermines the UK’s ambition to be a science superpower.
“Of particular interest to the charity in the review is the recommendation to promote research to the public. When clinical trials struggle to recruit, it becomes harder to conduct research and attract funding. In addition to this, people lose access to pioneering treatments that could transform their lives. In the UK lung conditions are the third biggest killer, we look forward to working with the government, the NHS and industry to find ways to increase clinical trial recruitment and to give people with lung conditions access to lifesaving clinical lung research.”
Notes to Editor
Towards the elimination of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a Lancet commission. Vol 400 September 17, 2022 states: Even though COPD is the third leading cause of death worldwide, there are currently only 780 ongoing therapeutic clinical trials related to the disease, compared with more than 41000 trials of cancer treatments. This lack of research partly explains the fact that only one new drug class has been approved for COPD in the past three decades.*
*Martinez FJ, Calverley PMA, Goehring U-M, Brose M, Fabbri LM, Rabe KF. Effect of roflumilast on exacerbations in patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease uncontrolled by combination therapy (REACT): a multicentre randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2015; 385: 857–66.