Government to streamline clinical trial applications
BCAC welcomes the Government’s response to the Health Select Committee's Inquiry into improving New Zealand’s environment to support innovation through clinical trials.
Libby Burgess, BCAC chair, says “We strongly support the Government’s commitment to improving the clinical trials environment in New Zealand as trials offer opportunities to patients to be involved in testing innovative new medicines and treatment techniques. Clinical trials play a crucial role in extending medical knowledge and lead to the development of better treatments for future patients. For breast cancer patients some trials provide early access to treatments that may mean reduced likelihood of recurrence and improved survival outcomes.”
Commenting on the Government’s response, Health Minister Tony Ryall says "The inquiry found the approvals process is robust but it can take months, sometimes years.
"The Government is committed to improving New Zealand's clinical trials environment, and has accepted many of the Health Committee's recommendations on how that should be achieved.”
Mr Ryall outlined this week (06/09/11) how, over the next ten months, the ethics committee approval process will be streamlined and simplified with;
• more comprehensive procedural rules
• internationally-competitive decision making timelines for ethics committees
• shorter, simpler application forms
• an easier application system online.
Libby continues, “It is crucial that New Zealanders have increased and faster access to clinical trials. BCAC welcomes these changes as they aim to make the ethics committees more efficient and transparent, and speed up the approvals process.”
“This will improve the country’s clinical research environment and make it easier for patients to access trials which may benefit them as well as future patients.”
For more information about breast cancer clinical trials in New Zealand visit http://www.breastcancer.org.nz/AboutBC/Clinical-trials.