Strengthening NHS research: Patients to access more new treatments through clinical trials

PfizerScottish patients will benefit from the latest medical advances under a new Pfizer and NHS Scotland partnership for clinical trials. Further boosting Scotland's reputation as a global centre of excellence for research, four health boards (NHS Grampian, Greater Glasgow &Clyde, Lothian and Tayside) will become a Pfizer INSPIRE site. This will see them become one of the company's preferred international sites for future research studies. Under the programme, Pfizer and the health boards will share expert knowledge and experience of medicines research to help bring innovative new medicines to patients in Scotland, the UK and around the world.

Making the announcement at the second NHS Research Scotland conference Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson said: "I believe it is only right that Scottish patients benefit from the medical advances and new treatments that clinical trials make available.

"That is why the Scottish Government strongly supports clinical research as a way to develop and improve the treatments and services available in our NHS.

"This news also demonstrates our position at the forefront of this field and I am delighted to see Scottish research once again gaining global recognition by being chosen as an INSPIRE site."

Commenting on the partnership, Dr David Montgomery, Oncology Medical Director, Pfizer Oncology UK said: "We are committed to delivering new research to change the lives of patients and this partnership will help bring the latest innovative medicines to the people of Scotland.

"Working together for our nation’s health is key as we strive to achieve a more positive environment for life sciences in the UK, and it will play a key role in further strengthening the research culture within NHS Scotland."

The INSPIRE partnership will put the NHS at the centre of all stages of research, from identifying priorities and areas for study, carrying out studies, engaging patients in research and putting the findings into evidence based practice.

In order to become an INSPIRE site the health boards met a series of strict criteria and showed that they are a highly productive and effective site for medicines research and development.

Recruitment to Pfizer (and other) clinical trials will be enhanced by the ongoing success of the Scottish Health Research Register (SHARE), which the Minister also announced today now exceeds 11,000 registrants.

There are currently over 90 Pfizer INSPIRE sites across the world and the Scottish site is now the second in the UK, following the announcement in May this year of the Newcastle INSPIRE site.

1. INSPIRE (Investigator Networks, Site Partnerships and Infrastructure for Research Excellence) sites are a strategic set of sites that are highly productive and effective in the conduct of clinical trials.

2. The 4 Boards making up the INSPIRE site lead research for Scotland through NHS Research Scotland (NRS) - a collaboration involving Scottish NHS Boards and the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) of the Scottish Government.

3. Chief Scientist Office (CSO) is the Division of the Scottish Government Health & Social Care Directorates which supports and promotes high quality research aimed at improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of services offered by NHSScotland and securing lasting improvements to the health of the people of Scotland.

4. Pfizer is one of the world's premier innovative, research-based biopharmaceutical companies with a portfolio of medicines and vaccines and some of the world's best known consumer healthcare products. Pfizer has prioritised its research and development efforts in the areas of immunology and inflammation; oncology; cardiovascular and metabolic diseases; neuroscience and pain; and vaccines. It currently has 74 research programmes in its pipeline and has ongoing clinical studies with the 4 Boards in areas including oncology, inflammation and gastro-intestinal disease.

5. The Scottish Health Research Strategy will soon be published for consultation via the Scottish Government and CSO websites.

6. SHARE is funded through NRS Infrastructure, provided by the Chief Scientist Office.

About Pfizer: Working together for a healthier world™
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to improve health and well being at every stage of life. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacturing of medicines. Our diversified global health care portfolio includes medicines and vaccines, as well as many of the world's best-known consumer healthcare products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we also collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. In the UK, Pfizer has its business headquarters in Surrey and is a major supplier of medicines to the NHS.