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FORINFRA-Nasj.sats. forskn.infrastrukt

The Norwegian Primary Care Research Network

Alternative title: Forskningsnettverk for primærhelsetjenesten

Awarded: NOK 65.3 mill.

Around 70% of the Norwegian population consult with their GP each year. Yet, there is an urgent need for more research of high relevance for the patients in Primary Care. We are currently establishing a research infrastructure to enable researchers to conduct clinical trials or otherwise access patients or patient data from primary health care in Norway. Many patients want to participate in studies, but are currently not given this opportunity. This results in very few clinical studies, often with insufficient numbers of patients and/or severely delayed project. Primary Care Research Networks (PCRNs) are successful infrastructures for clinical research internationally, ensuring effective inclusion of consenting patients and targets met on time. Based on the example of PCRNs in UK, we think a Norwegian PCRN will contribute to many more studies in Norway. The Norwegian PCRN will motivate researchers to conduct clinical studies by facilitating predictable and secure access to GPs, patients and clinical data. Our goals will be realized by an infrastructure comprising two interdependent layers: A) A human resource-based infrastructure consisting of a coordinating node and four interlinked regional research networks with a total of 92 associated clinical practices, covering almost 10% of the Norwegian population; and B) an advanced, secured IT infrastructure connecting nodes and clinical practices. The Norwegian PCRN is a conjoined, nation-wide initiative based in academic institutions for general practice. A long term goal is to link PCRN with future corresponding networks for other primary care professionals. We are currently conducting research studies. We expect this infrastructure to result in more and better clinical studies in Norway, including more extensive international collaboration.

Currently, there is no research infrastructure available enabling researchers to conduct clinical trials or otherwise access patients or patient data from primary health care in Norway. This results in very few studies, often with insufficient numbers of patients and/or severely delayed project. This challenge is positioned high on the national agenda. Primary Care Research Networks (PCRNs) are successful infrastructures for clinical research internationally, ensuring effective inclusion of patients and targets met on time. While today, only 3-4 studies/year that involve Norwegian general practice are registered in clinicaltrials.gov, the Scottish PCRN facilitates more than 60 studies annually, in a country with population and geographic structure comparable to Norway. This illustrates the huge potential for Norway. The planned Norwegian PCRN will motivate researchers to conduct clinical studies by facilitating predictable and secure access to GPs, patients and clinical data. Our goals will be realized by a hierarchically organized infrastructure comprising two interdependent layers: A) A human resource-based infrastructure consisting of a coordinating node and four interlinked regional research networks with 90 associated clinical practices; and B) an advanced, secured IT infrastructure connecting nodes and clinical practices, and providing individual access to users for data extraction and processing. Both elements of the infrastructure were successfully piloted in 2016. The Norwegian PCRN is a conjoined, nation-wide initiative, matured over several years. A long term goal is to link PCRN with future corresponding networks for other primary care professionals. We expect this infrastructure to result in better and higher number of clinical studies in Norway, including more extensive international collaboration.

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FORINFRA-Nasj.sats. forskn.infrastrukt