Four health boards in Scotland have teamed up with Pfizer to become the company’s second INSPIRE site driving clinical research in the UK.

The health boards are NHS Grampian, Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lothian and Tayside.

They are already heavily invested in the research endeavour through NHS Research Scotland (NRS), a collaboration involving Scottish NHS Boards and the Scottish government’s Chief Scientist Office.

The aim of NRS is to ensure that Scotland provides the best possible environment for clinical research. The Grampian, Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lothian and Tayside health boards are also part of the Scottish Academic Health Science Collaboration (now Health Science Scotland), yoking their NHS research experience to academic resources at the Universities of Dundee, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

INSPIRE programme

There are more than 90 Pfizer INSPIRE sites around the world, with the Scottish partnership following last May’s announcement that Pfizer was setting up an Investigator Networks, Site Partnerships and Infrastructure for Research Excellence (INSPIRE) site in Newcastle, UK through the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The INSPIRE programme is a strategic network of sites identified as highly productive and effective in conducting clinical trials.

These sites have to meet strict criteria such as running trials to the highest standards within set timelines; ensuring dedicated, high-quality staff and resources; and expertise in key disease areas targeted by Pfizer’s R&D pipeline.

Under the Scottish programme, Pfizer and the health boards will share expert knowledge and experience in research to help bring new medicines to patients in Scotland, the UK and around the world, the partners said.