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Impact and Value of the NIHR Clinical Research Network 2019 (infographic summarising key findings)


Published: 15 October 2019

Version: 1.0

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An independent report, commissioned by the NIHR Clinical Research Network and produced by KPMG’s Economics team, provides an assessment of the economic impact of the NIHR Clinical Research Network’s activities to support clinical research in England over the period from 2016/17 - 2018/19. The report includes:

  • an assessment of the economic contribution made to the UK economy through clinical research activity supported by the Network;
  • analysis to quantify the value of payments made to NHS Trusts for commercial studies;
  • and the value to the NHS of pharmaceuticals provided as part of commercial studies.

The key findings are presented below.

Period 2018/19 Financial Year

The NIHR Clinical Research Network supported clinical research activity which generated:

  • £2.7 billion GVA (Gross Value Added is a measure of the value of goods and services produced in a sector of an economy.)
  • 47,467 Full Time Equivalent jobs 

Period 2016/17 to 2018/19

For each participant recruited onto a commercial clinical trial, on average, the NHS in England:

  • received £9,189 from life sciences companies
  • saved £5,813 - this is the estimated pharmaceutical cost-saving for each patient recruited into a commercial study, where a trial drug replaced the standard of care treatment

Period 2018/2019

  • Total estimated income for the NHS from life sciences companies: £355 million
  • Total estimated pharmaceutical cost-saving for the NHS, where a trial drug replaced the standard of care treatment: £28.6 million

The MHRA estimates

  • 85% of commercial studies it approves are supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (2018/19)


  • The number of studies and patients recruited onto studies on the NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio have both increased by approximately 30% in 3 years (2016/17 to 2018/19)

Supporting quotes

"... without the CRN's provision of feasibility services, procurement of 'high performing' sites would be significantly more sporadic and difficult." 
Based on Sponsor Company feedback (page 49)

"...the CRN's site identification services and set-up support to smaller organisations had impacted positively on its decision to operate clinical research in the UK..." 
Based on Contract Research Organisation feedback (page 49)

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