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Statement on Expediting Commercial Contract Research

Date: 17 March 2023

Research Reset: New update and actions published by DHSC and NHSE

DHSC and NHSE sent a letter on 13 March 2023 to R&D Directors at NHS sites, stating that commercial contract research is to be expedited in order to ensure it recovers at the same rate as non-commercial research.

Key messages contained in the letter from DHSC and NHSE:

  • Noted difference in rates of recovery 

Data indicates that commercial research is not recovering at the same rate as non-commercial research.

  • Commercial research to be expedited

Sites are being asked to expedite the set up and delivery of commercial contact studies (that they have already committed to) with immediate effect.

  • Action to be taken on studies that are off track 

Over 700 studies in Reset have been confirmed as ‘off track’ i.e. not recruiting in line with expectations, but are still ongoing. Sponsors are being asked to take immediate steps to get these studies on track or close them to recruitment or close them completely.

  • CRN will support sites to expedite the set up and delivery of commercial studies

The National Contract Value Review will also help streamline set-up and reduce the workload for NHS R&D teams

Sponsors need to continue to review and provide/update intentions in the Reset Tools on a monthly basis as part of good portfolio management.

Non-commercial research remains as important as ever, these steps are being taken to address the specific challenges for the recovery of life sciences studies.

Read more about the latest requests as well as data on the progress to date on the Reset microsite.


Please find attached an open letter from DHSC Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Lucy Chappell, Director of Science, Research and Evidence, Dr Gail Marzetti and NHSE Director of Transformation, Dr Tim Ferris.

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