Last week, hospitals received a letter from NHS England saying that, under a new national policy, the excess costs of funding treatment linked to clinical trials would no longer be met across England because of the “current financial climate” in the NHS.
Responding to the news, Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour's European spokesperson on health, said:
"I would be very concerned if Jeremy Hunt really is planning to cut funding for NHS-run clinical trials. Trials are essential in improving treatments and finding new ones. In some cases clinical trials might be a patient's only hope of survival.
"Labour in Europe has successfully brought in measures which should reduce the amount of time and money needed to conduct trials, as well as facilitate cross-border trials which are vital for rare diseases, such as childhood cancers. For the government to now slash funding for this life-saving research is just shocking."
Glenis Willmott MEP added:
"We face so many challenges in healthcare which can only be addressed by further clinical research. From finding treatments and cures for life-threatening diseases such as cancer and HIV/AIDs, to developing new antibiotics as we struggle with anti-microbial resistance, reducing the number of NHS clinical trials would be disastrous."