CANCER patients in Scotland are set to benefit from closer working between the NHS and the pharmaceutical industry.
The Scottish Cancer Research Working with Industry Forum – an ongoing collaboration between the pharma industry, NHS Scotland and academics – is holding its second conference in Glasgow today, bringing together delegates from NHS, patient representative groups, industry and academia; and demonstrating the strong ethos of collaboration in Scotland.
The conference, which will hear from a number of eminent cancer researchers and clinicians, aims to showcase Scotland’s capabilities and create further opportunities to improve access to innovative clinical trials.
The benefit to patients will be central to the theme, with Elspeth Banks, Scottish Cancer and NCRI Patient Advocate, acting as chair for the conference.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Elspeth said: “It is a great honour to be involved in the planning, shaping and delivery of this conference.
“We will hear from a number of researchers and clinicians leading ground-breaking work across Scotland but as we work to support greater collaboration and increase access to trials, the patient voice needs to be strong so I’ve warmly welcomed my seat at the table.
“I’ve first-hand experience of participating in a clinical trial. More than one in five adult cancer patients in the UK take part in a clinical trial – a higher proportion than anywhere else in the world and a fantastic achievement, but we need continued commitment towards developing more and better treatments in order that an increased number of patients benefit.”
The Scottish Cancer Research Working with Industry Forum was first held in 2014 with over 150 delegates.
Today, it will welcome over 200.
David Cameron, NHS Research Scotland research champion, said: “Scotland has great expertise in cancer research and strategic investments in genomics and precision medicine provide new opportunities for cutting-edge research.
“Our strong infrastructure, unified health system and ehealth records are also desirable to industry and this conference will help us to identify further opportunities for collaboration.
“Maximising Scotland’s potential as a destination for world leading clinical research will increase opportunities for patients to participate in trials and benefit from the improved results that will bring.”
ABPI Scotland director, Sandra Auld, said: “Clinical research in Scotland improves the health of patients and provides an important boost to the life sciences sector of the economy.
“The pharmaceutical sector is one of Scotland’s biggest in terms of commercial research and development spending, and we want to continue to work to attract investment.
“As the trade body that represents the pharmaceutical sector, ABPI Scotland is delighted to support this conference which is an important step to bring together commercial researchers, academic researchers, the pharmaceutical industry and NHSScotland.”
Notes to editors:
• NHS Research Scotland promotes and supports excellence in clinical and translational research in Scotland so that patients can benefit from new and better treatments. Formed through a partnership of Scottish NHS Boards and the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) of Scottish Government, we work to ensure that NHS Scotland provides the best environment to support clinical research.
• The Scottish Cancer Research Network, led by Professor David Cameron, is an initiative supported by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government to increase, support and sustain clinical trial activity in cancer care.
• The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) Scotland represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in Scotland and the UK
Fiona Fleming – 0141 951 5508 / 07739013064
NHS Research Scotland – central management team
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