Kate Shaw, Founder & CEO, comments on the latest ABPI report

Thursday 27th October 2022

Kate Shaw, Founder and CEO of Innovative Trials,  a global company specialising in clinical trial patient recruitment, retention and engagement, has responded to a report published by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) that highlights the decline of industry clinical trials in the UK.

The report, Rescuing patient access to industry clinical trials in the UK, reveals that patient access to industry studies on the National Institute for Health and Care Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) has fallen by 44% between 2017/18 and 2021/22.


Responding to the report, Shaw said: “It’s clear from this report that the UK has suffered from a chronic lack of investment in the NHS, stretching its resources almost to breaking point and affecting its ability to implement an appropriate research infrastructure to support clinical studies. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t helped, creating a research backlog that has piled pressure on trial sponsors and sites, and made patient recruitment more challenging. This is leaving the country – and healthcare patients – on the sidelines of innovative drug development and access.

“With fewer clinical trials initiated in the UK, patients in this country are missing out on opportunities to access new and innovative therapies. Meanwhile, trials that do go ahead face lengthy delays between applying for regulatory approval and delivering the first dose to a patient. Together, the UK is no longer seen as a desirable location for clinical research. 

“The UK government must take notice of the ABPI’s report and urgently develop an action plan to reverse this decline. It is not an understatement to say the future of the UK’s life sciences sector depends on it. Meanwhile, I encourage the pharma industry not to give up hope on the UK and to continue placing trials here; we look forward to supporting pharma companies, Contract Research Organisations (CROs) and other stakeholders throughout trial setup, recruitment and implementation, and helping accelerate timescales to get treatments to market faster.”  

The ABPI has also launched an online diversity and inclusion hub to share information and best practice to support the pharma industry in the UK to involve more diverse patient populations in clinical research.

Speaking about the hub, Shaw said: “We welcome the launch of this new resource. Recruiting diverse patient populations into clinical trials has been a huge issue for the pharma industry for some time, so it is great to see the ABPI supporting its members in this way.

“Recruiting a diverse mix of people into trials is vital to understanding a treatment’s efficacy, safety profile and optimum dosage. At Innovative Trials, we work with pharma companies globally to ensure their patient recruitment is diverse and inclusive, and are pleased that the ABPI shares our commitment to achieving this in the UK.”

Innovative Trials, named Best Global Patient Recruitment Company of 2021, supports clinical trial sites and sponsors to meet patient recruitment targets and deadlines, and avoid costly delays in bringing effective new treatments to market. The company has supported around 300 clinical trials globally across more than 25 separate therapy areas and played a part in six new treatments being approved for patients worldwide.



For more information, please contact Laura Gibson at Presence Media at +44 7771 933609 or [email protected]

Notes to editors

About Innovative Trials

Innovative Trials is a leading global clinical trial patient recruitment and retention company. With over 10 years’ experience, Innovative Trials deploys “boots-on-the-ground” patient recruitment experts in over 70 countries, addressing individual sites’ unique recruitment and retention challenges in local language. 

Innovative Trials has experience in more than 25 therapeutic areas across 90+ conditions working with some of the biggest global pharmaceuticals, Clinical Research Organizations (CROs) and biotech companies.

Innovative Trials was founded in 2010 by Kate Shaw and Dave Watkins after identifying a growing need for clinical trial patient recruitment support.

For more information, visit www.innovativetrials.com