Clinical research infrastructure

The Academy is working to improve the infrastructure for clinical research in the Netherlands. Its efforts should increase safety for patients and test persons and ensure that research funding is spent more effectively. Its advice will also help broaden the research agenda and achieve a better balance in the cooperation between industry and academia.

The demand for greater efficiency in the healthcare system leaves less time for investigator-driven clinical research. The expanding burden of bureaucracy is also making it more difficult to set up clinical trials. As a result, the research agenda for therapeutic clinical research is increasingly being set by pharmaceutical and other companies.

Together with medical researchers, pharmaceutical industry representatives and the public authorities, the Academy is exploring how to restore the balance and identify the requirements for sound, independent clinical research.

The advisory procedure will be supervised by a committee chaired by Prof. Marcel Levi, professor of internal medicine at Amsterdam Medical Centre/University of Amsterdam.

Activities and plans

On 15 January 2010, the Academy organised a symposium on Investigator-Driven Clinical Research. The symposium provided the impetus for an advisory memorandum submitted to the Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport requesting that a programme committee should be installed to investigate improvements to the infrastructure for clinical research.

The Academy is currently working out the details with the Ministry and other relevant parties.