New Delhi: “The changing profile of diseases affecting the Indian population, the continuing high prevalence of endemic diseases and the emergence of lifestyle diseases all point to an urgent need for greater investment in research and innovation to address India‘s increasing disease burden and the incremental costs associated with it,” said Dr Chirag Trivedi, President, Indian Society for Clinical Research (ISCR) speaking at the commencement of the 12th Annual ISCR Conference being held in Delhi. “Stakeholders need to work together to build and strengthen the clinical research ecosystem in the country and create an environment that encourages more research. At the same time, there is a need for more education and awareness about clinical research and its benefits not just to participating patients, but also to society at large.”
Recent data from www.clinicaltrials.gov indicates that the number of clinical trials being done in India as a percentage of global trials continues to fall. From 1.5% a couple of years ago, the percentage of clinical trials in India is now 1.2% which is inadequate for a country that has the second highest population and the highest disease burden in the world.
Source: www.clinicaltrials.gov (global total of 297, 101 clinical trials as on Feb 13, 2019).
It is against this background that ISCR is holding its Conference on the theme Clinical Research Advancing the Frontiers of Health. The Conference, being attended by 500+ clinical research professionals, is focusing on various clinical trial reforms that will build the future research enterprise as well as on emerging research opportunities in India.
“Clinical research in India is governed by robust local and global regulations which makes India amongst the most stringent clinical research regulatory environments in the world. In such an environment we need to encourage, not deter, not-for-profit organisations, institutions and biopharma companies from doing more research in India,” said Dr Sanjay Mittal, Senior Director – Clinical Cardiology & Head of Research, Medanta – The Medicity. “The most impacted by the current environment are patients who will not have access to the latest and most effective treatment for various medical conditions. For us investigators too, participating in clinical research exposes us to the latest trends and treatment protocols which, in turn, benefits our practice and patients.” A clinical trial patient at the media briefing shared his experience of participating in a clinical trial and the rigor of the process, while highlighting how the trial benefited his condition.