您现在的位置: 首页 > 英语听力 > 国外媒体资讯 > 经济学人双语版 > 经济学人商业系列 > 正文

经济学人:临床实验 测试测试

来源:经济学人 编辑:mike   VIP免费外教试听课 |  可可官方微信:ikekenet
 下载MP3到电脑  批量下载MP3和LRC到手机

Clinical trials

Testing, testing
The nation is losing its grip on a valuable industry
THE British have long been experimenting on each other: in 1747 a Scottish doctor first fed oranges to a group of scurvy-ridden sailors. But clinical trials have been moving overseas for years. The number of trials approved in Britain dropped by 14% between 2005 and 2013; at the same time, the country's share of the global market fell. This is a big problem—but one with a solution.

The process of testing new treatments is unusually slow in Britain. It is held up at every stage—from getting formal approval to finding the right hospital. But the biggest challenge is the time it takes to round up subjects. At present trial designers often recruit by phoning doctors they know, who will try and remember to mention the trial to their patients. It is “all quite ad hoc,” says Shaun Treweek, a researcher at Dundee University. Indeed, recruitment has not moved on much since the tuberculosis trials of the 1940s, where ten to 20 subjects were thought sufficient, and could be gathered locally and at random.

在不列颠推进新治疗方案的过程异常缓慢。在所有阶段都会有阻碍—从获得正式许可到找到合适的医院。不过最大的问题在于招募被试时费时过长。目前实验设计者常通过打电话给他们熟知的医生进行招募。这些医生会试着在记起来的情况下向他们的病人提及此事。此乃“便宜之举,”Dundee大学的研究员Shaun Treweek道。实际上,招募自从上世纪40年代的肺结核实验之后便无改观。彼时认为10至20名被试足矣,而且可以在当地就近随机选取。
For drugs companies the delays that result are costly. The life of a patent starts as soon as a drug is discovered, and a single day's delay getting it to market costs up to $10m. Trials have been moving to eastern Europe and China, where hurdles are fewer. Britain is thus losing its grasp on a valuable industry: the global clinical trials industry is worth £30 billion ($51 billion) a year. It is also in danger of losing research and development investment. Trials are the habitat of R&D's most valuable workers: skilled researchers and clinicians.
And as trials move away from Britain, more subtle damage is being done. Martin Landray, a researcher at Oxford University, points out that clinical standards go up when doctors are involved in research, as their hospital keeps pace with evolving knowledge. And, as in many other industries, innovation happens in clusters.
而且,随着实验从不列颠迁走,小损失产生不断。牛津大学的研究员Martin Landray指出,临床标准会随着医生研究的进行而提高,同时他们所在的医院也会随着知识的演进紧随步伐。而这如同许多其他产业一样,在聚集中产生创新。
Yet in recent years some of the biggest and most smoothly-conducted trials have taken place in Britain. One is UK Biobank, which, with half a million subjects, has become one of the largest ever studies into the importance of nature versus nurture. Then there is the vast REVEAL heart disease trial, which recruited 19,000 Britons in record time.
These studies have something in common: researchers were able to trawl NHS data to find appropriate subjects and contact them directly. Data-protection laws usually make this tricky, but they were granted an exemption by the confidentiality advisory group. Unfortunately, such exemptions are rare, and are now under threat from a proposed EU directive. Mr Landray, who helped arrange the REVEAL study, reckons the bar is set too high. “We wrote to a third of a million people. 19,000 took part; 30 complained,” he says.
Allowing more studies to recruit patients in this way would give Britain a unique advantage. After all, it is the only country with a centralised patient data system. And there are ways to protect patients from abuses—Ben Goldacre, a doctor and science writer, has suggested making the penalties for breaching medical privacy stiffer. Minimise the risks, and Britain could lead the world in clinical testing. Politicians panicked when it looked as though Pfizer, an American drugs company, might end up buying AstraZeneca, a British one, and shred the country's research base. They should consider Britain's hidden strengths.
允诺更多实验以此途径招募被试将给不列颠带来独特优势。不管怎么说,我国是世界上仅有的具有一个集中病例系统的国家。并且,避免病人受到虐待也方法颇多—医生与科学作家Ben Goldacre已经建议立法者对违反医疗隐私法例的人处以更严厉的惩罚。以最大的努力降低这些风险,不列颠可以引领世界临床测试。政客们面对辉瑞公司时惊慌失措。这个美国公司最终将购买不列颠的AstraZeneca公司。他们认为这将毁掉我国的研究根基。政客们应该注意到不列颠隐藏的能量。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
advantage [əd'vɑ:ntidʒ]


n. 优势,有利条件
vt. 有利于

appropriate [ə'prəupriət]


adj. 适当的,相称的
vt. 拨出(款项)

rare [rɛə]


adj. 稀罕的,稀薄的,罕见的,珍贵的

global ['gləubəl]


adj. 全球性的,全世界的,球状的,全局的

trial ['traiəl]


adj. 尝试性的; 审讯的
n. 尝试,努力

delay [di'lei]


v. 耽搁,推迟,延误
n. 耽搁,推迟,延期

patent ['peitənt, 'pætənt]


n. 专利,特许
adj. 专利的,显著的

habitat ['hæbitæt]


n. (动植物的)产地,栖息地

reveal [ri'vi:l]


vt. 显示,透露
n. (外墙与门或窗之间的

privacy ['praivəsi]


n. 隐私,隐居,秘密