Clinical trials funded in 2022: FOI release
- Chief Medical Officer Directorate
- Part of
- Health and social care, Public sector
Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
I would be grateful for the following information:
1) How many clinical trials took place in Scotland in 2022?
2) How many of these trials were funded by the NHS?
3) How many of these trials were funded privately?
Thank you for your email. I am responding to your query you sent on 2 March 2023 about the number and funding of clinical trials in Scotland last year (2022). I understand that you also requested the same figures from 2018-2021 in a subsequent request. We will also be providing figures from these years in a follow-up response.
Clinical trials are a specific type of research study that involves comparing the effect of one treatment with another; whilst clinical research studies can encompass any type of research (including clinical trials) involving people that aims to uncover new information about health and/or disease. The figures below refer to the number of clinical research studies rather than clinical trials specifically.
The figures I discuss below represent the most recent figures held by the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) in the Scottish Government, which are provided to us periodically by NHS Research Scotland (NRS) (https://www.nhsresearchscotland.org.uk/). These figures cover the period from October 2021 – September 2022, rather than the entirety of 2022. The reason for this is because annual clinical research activity in the NHS is tracked from October of one year until September of the following year, rather than by calendar or financial year. The figures are in reference to clinical research studies that were active, in follow-up phase, or completed in Scotland over that time period.
I will respond to your queries separately:
How many clinical trials took place in Scotland in 2022?
From the data that we hold, 1,592 clinical research studies were reported as active, in follow-up phase, or completed in Scotland in the period from October 2021 - September 2022.
How many of these trials were funded by the NHS?
Generally speaking, clinical research studies are funded by public bodies such as UK Research & Innovation, UK health departments or their research funding bodies, non-profit third sector organisations such as medical research charities, or industry organisations.
However, the data recorded by NRS and provided to us is classified by research sponsor rather than funder.
A research sponsor is the organisation or body that takes responsibility for setting up, carrying out and eventually reporting a particular research study. Sponsors are often (but not always) distinct from the organisation that is the primary research funder. When studies are sponsored by industry/private entities, they are referred to as commercial studies. Studies sponsored by organisations other than industry/private entities (such as public bodies or non-profit third sector organisations like those mentioned above) are thus not classified as commercial projects in the data that we hold. Thus, when providing the figure below, non-commercial research studies refer to studies which were not classified as commercial in our dataset.
From the data that we hold, for the period covering October 2021 – September 2022, of the 1,592 clinical research studies that were reported as active, in follow-up, or completed in Scotland, 1,034 were non-commercial research studies.
However, industry/private funding may still contribute to these non-commercial research studies, but we cannot determine this from the data that we hold.
How many of these trials were privately funded?
Following on from the clarification above on funders and sponsors, commercial studies are defined here as those that are sponsored by industry/private entities. However, in most instances of commercial research studies, the private entity that sponsors the study is also the funder for that study.
From the data that we hold, for the period covering October 2021 – September 2022, of the 1,592 clinical research studies that were reported as active, in follow-up, or completed in Scotland, 558 were classified as commercial.
The above figures were all collated from datasets the Scottish Government holds, which are provided to us by NRS. However, these datasets are subject to change and may not contain the most up-to-date data. For more accurate and up-to-date figures, you could contact the Central Management Team of NRS directly, as they are the organisation responsible for collating this data.
General Enquiries contact details for NRS Central Management Team: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
There is a problem
Thanks for your feedback