Our policy on research regulation

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Get in touch with our policy team to find out more information about our work and our policies.

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Medical research involving patients is one of the most heavily regulated sectors in the world.

Regulation ensures that patients are protected when taking part in research and that the data generated from research is robust and applicable to future clinical practice.

Our policy team works with researchers and regulators to ensure that the regulation that governs research is proportionate – protecting patients whilst ensuring unnecessary red tape does not impede our researchers.

In recent years the research community has highlighted numerous ways that European and UK laws along with processes in the NHS have damaged their ability to run clinical trials and research studies. This is because excessive or unnecessary regulation can slow down or stop clinical research taking place as well as greatly increase the cost to funders.

We’ve recently seen commitments from both the UK government and the EU to improve the situation for medical research. In the UK the formation of the Health Research Authority and a renewed focus on improving the approval times for research in the NHS are already having positive effects on our availability to conduct research. At an EU level the new Clinical Trials Regulation will make it easier and faster to set up a clinical trial and promote collaboration across Europe.

We also work on other regulatory issues including: management of human tissues, ethical principles of research, and development and availability of paediatric medicines.

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