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Impact on Clinical Research of European Legislation

Coordinator: Ingrid KLINGMANN
Project Number: 201002
EC contribution: € 348,600.00
Project website:

This project aims primarily at analysing and measuring the impact of Directive 2001/20/EC (Clinical Trials Directive, CTD) and related legislation on the industry and academic clinical research with medicinal products but also on their impact on clinical research in the broader sense. This initiative fits with the need to provide evidence for a potential reconsideration of certain aspects of the current legislation and the elaboration of suitable approaches to national implementation of the CTD. The CTD was adopted with the objective of harmonising the EU regulatory environment for medicinal products, of improving the protection of participants, of optimising the use of safety information, and of ensuring the credibility of data through a strengthened responsibility of the sponsors and Member States. 3.5 years after implementation of the CTD it appears that some of these aims have been reached more than others. The aim of harmonisation, however, has clearly not been reached. As this Directive’s scope is limited to medicinal products it does not harmonise all other areas of clinical research in a consistent way, especially as some EU Member States choose to implement the CTD in new clinical research legislation with wider scope than the Directive’s. As a result, also other types of clinical research face now different conditions in different EU Member States. Especially the performance of large multi-national clinical trials suffers from this lack of harmonisation. This raises concern on the competitiveness and attractiveness of the EU for clinical research. In an attempt to achieve the same quality standards almost similar procedures for all types of clinical trials with medicinal products are required – from registration trials with innovative treatments to trials comparing treatment strategies using marketed drugs and minimally invasive trials. Especially SMEs and academic institutions face major difficulties in fulfilling their sponsor responsibilities.

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