North-east re­searchers win pres­ti­gious top award

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY KIRSTEN ROBERT­SON

Aberdeen aca­demics have won a pres­ti­gious in­ter­na­tional award for mak­ing tri­als of new health­care treat­ments more ef­fi­cient.

Pro­fes­sor Shaun Tre­week and his team at the Rowett In­sti­tute won the 2019 Cochrane-Re­ward prize for re­duc­ing re­search waste af­ter start­ing an ini­tia­tive called Trial Forge. Ran­domised tri­als are con­sid­ered the cor­ner­stone of ev­i­dence­based health­care as they of­fer the fairest tests of treat­ments, ther­a­pies and ini­tia­tives.

How­ever, Prof Tre­week’s team found the huge scale of “waste” cre­ated dur­ing clin­i­cal trails, es­ti­mated to be as much as £100 mil­lion ev­ery year.

The waste oc­curs dur­ing five stages of re­search pro­duc­tion: ques­tion se­lec­tion, study de­sign, re­search con­duct, pub­li­ca­tion, and re­port­ing.

Trial Forge looks at mak­ing small im­prove­ments in lots of dif­fer­ent ar­eas which add up to a large over­all im­prove­ment.

Prof Tre­week said: “We’re de­lighted to have Trial Forge recog­nised with this award. Sci­en­tists carry out thou­sands of ran­domised tri­als ev­ery year in or­der to find out bet­ter ways to treat peo­ple, but so lit­tle work is done into mak­ing the tri­als them­selves more ef­fec­tive.”

They picked up the award at the In­ter­na­tional Clin­i­cal Tri­als Method­ol­ogy Con­fer­ence in Brighton. Pro­fes­sor Shaun Tre­week t the Rowett In­sti­tute

“So lit­tle work is done into mak­ing the­tri­alsmore ef­fec­tive”

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