Lowering thresholds – removing unnecessary administrative barriers

The coronavirus pandemic is the first to spread across the world in a matter of months. In 2020, we have seen the importance of collaboration and what we can achieve together, efforts between businesses, academia, healthcare, authorities and individuals. It makes me hopeful that we are setting a new standard for collaboration to drive research forward.

What made a strong impression on me was how we turned to each other, authorities, health care, academia, businesses, started talking, approached and supported each other with a common focus – how do we solve this, what can we do. Once that happens, we can do things we never thought possible, such as conducting clinical trials and getting a medicine approved in less than a year, for what normally takes at least 5 years. We should be proud of this!

The main success factors are when we see each other as partners. We listen and want to understand each other’s conditions and needs. This is how we build trust and cooperation. This is not self-evident, and 2020 has shown that the will to cooperate is there and we have the courage.

I would like to see us build on this positive, solution-oriented momentum of collaboration between different actors to remove unnecessary administrative barriers to conducting clinical trials. A clear need that we see now is how we can facilitate with digital tools and perform work remotely. Both how digital tools can make it easier for the patient to participate in a clinical trial, through digital visits, have the trial drug delivered to their home, but also how we can use digital systems optimally to monitor remotely. To develop this, we need collaboration between healthcare, academia, industry and the agency, but also with actors outside the usual circle, who have other important knowledge.

The parties, SKR, in the Agreement on Clinical Trials, LIF, Swedish Medtech, Swedish Labtech and SwedenBIO, have formed a cooperation group, which together with the regional nodes and other national initiatives, will support work on developing conditions for national statistics, incentives to conduct clinical trials and improve the coordination and conditions for study requests.

Through the cooperation group, the parties intend to continuously monitor how the agreement is complied with, how the conditions for conducting clinical trials develop and how each party addresses the obstacles and challenges that currently stand in the way of Sweden developing into a pioneering country with continued high-quality and responsible clinical trials.

Clinical research is fundamental to the development of healthcare, generating knowledge and stimulating the emergence of future research leaders, as well as giving patients access to the latest treatment innovations.”

Eva Löfkvist, Head of Clinical Operations Nordic, BMS and SwedenBIO’s representative in SKR’s cooperation group for clinical trials.