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Research in medicine

In order to strengthen research at university hospitals, the WR advocated as early as the 1980s for a redistribution of resources in favour of research and for flexible structures at university hospitals that promote research.

Today still, the model of clinical research groups recommended by the WR is a central funding programme of the German Research Foundation (DFG) for the promotion of medical research across disciplines and locations. The starting point of its research recommendations is the assessment that scientific research at university hospitals must compete (for time) with the growing tasks of care provision.

Based on clinical studies, the latest findings in medical research can be transferred to patient care. Clinical trials are therefore of immense importance: for doctors, who must make well-founded decisions in their practice every day, as well as for patients, for whom clinical trials enable access to innovative therapies. In the view of the WR, the full potential of clinical trials is not yet being fully exploited in Germany. Compared with important reference countries, in particular, there is a need for action in the field of innovative non-commercial studies, and especially in the area of very complex, decidedly practice-changing clinical studies. The WR believes that such studies require a special funding offer tailored precisely to their specific features as they take a long time to carry out and have no immediately recognisable application potential.

The WR, the DFG and the BMBF’s (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) Health Research Forum presented their positions and recommendations on clinical trials to the (expert) public at a joint event in Berlin on 29th October 2018 under the title “Clinical trials as the key to progress in medicine – What do we need to do better in Germany?” The fact that three central players addressed the urgent need for action in a joint event impressively illustrated the great importance of the topic.

Recommendations on clinical trials (German version only) | Empfehlungen zu Klinischen Studien (Drs. 7301-18), Oktober 2018