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Clinical research company causes concerns over drugs study

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) drugs trial


Leading scientists have raised serious concerns about a major government study into the effectiveness of drugs used by thousands of people with MS.

Initially the study was being carried out by an established team at Sheffield University, but it has now been switched to Parexel - a company with commercial links to three of the four pharmaceutical companies involved in the study and perhaps more alarmingly the company who was responsible for the disastrous clinical trials at Northwick Park.

There are also concerns about how much of the research will be made public.

Lawyer for victims of Multiple Sclerosis drugs trial

Ann Alexander, Consultant at national law firm Irwin Mitchell, and acting on behalf of two of the victims of the Northwick Park drug trials, commented:

It is surprising that this study should choose to involve a company who is currently under investigation and it leaves many unanswered questions about the quality of results this study will yield.

The move to a commercial company has also dismayed one of the world's experts on Multiple Sclerosis whose research data was being used by the scientists at Sheffield University.

George Ebers, professor of clinical neurology at Oxford University, said: "One has a certain bit of worry here that you've got an academic group with a well-established and well earned reputation in this whole business and in particular MS, and then for reasons which I don't understand they're replaced by a clinical research organisation.

"I have reservations about this being a clinical research organisation that's going to be involved in determining efficacy."

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