18 May 2015 | News | By BioSpectrum Bureau
India has less than 1.5% share of global clinical trials: ISCR
Ms Suneela Thatte, president, ISCR
ISCR is an association of clinical research professionals that aims to build awareness of clinical research as a specialty in India.
A series of workshops and seminars would be held by ISCR to highlight and celebrate the very important role patients' play in clinical trials and how their safety and welfare are a top priority for all clinical research stakeholders.
Said Ms Suneela Thatte, president, ISCR, "On the International Clinical Trials Day, we acknowledge the selfless contribution of clinical trial patients in inventing new drugs and treatments. We would also like to dedicate this very important day to patients who are still waiting for new breakthroughs in medical science for a better quality of life. At less than 1.5%, the share of India in global clinical trials is very low, despite the country accounting for 17% of the world's population, and 20% of the global disease burden. We will be organizing several workshops and seminars on May 20 to deliberate upon the current environment for clinical trials in India and how clinical research stakeholders can collaborate to ensure an enabling environment for clinical research in the country."
Over the last few months, several steps have been taken by Indian regulators to bring clinical research in India back on track.
"We now need to restore confidence among all the stakeholders that robust and streamlined guidelines and systems are in place in the country for conducting clinical research. Thousands of patients are desperately waiting for new therapies and drugs to enter the market, and we, as clinical research professionals, have an enormous responsibility to fulfill this need. We are fully committed to working with everyone across the clinical research spectrum to create an enabling environment which encourages scientific and ethical clinical research so that patients can have better and quicker access to new treatments," she added.
To create an enabling environment for clinical research by raising awareness about its role and relevance, ISCR has launched a nationwide advocacy program called NavChetana.
On May 20, ISCR will be relaunching its publication called "Clinical Trials - A Guide for Participants" under the NavChetana banner.
The Guide empowers patients by providing a better understanding of clinical trials so that they can make a responsible and informed decision to participate.
It guides patients on questions to ask investigators before making a decision to participate in clinical trials.
ISCR will also be launching an educational film on the occasion, showcasing clinical research testimonials and experiences.
In addition, it will be distributing its code of conduct for clinical research in India.
This 12-point, patient-centric code, applicable to all ISCR members, reinforces their commitment to ethical, scientific and regulatory compliance while engaging in any clinical research activity.
Said Ms Suneela Thatte: "As a professional organization representing clinical research professionals, ISCR fully supports a more robust and regulated clinical research environment to ensure highest standards of ethics and quality and protect patient rights. We seek media support in acknowledging the role of clinical trial patients who are unsung heroes and highlighting the experience and struggles of today's patients, particularly those suffering from unmet medical needs. We need to build an environment that fosters clinical research, drug discovery and innovation through public education and awareness."