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Growing Global Clinical Trials Markets: Service Revenue Is Expected To Exceed 65 Billion US Dollars By 2021

With continuous expansion of being conducted across the globe and into the emerging markets – the service revenue for global markets is expected to reach as much as $32.73 billion and exceed $65 billion by 2021. The Middle East & North African (MENA) region is of great importance in clinical research and is frustratingly slow to reach its full potential. The number of trials conducted there continues to increase; this is the result of a cooperative, multidisciplinary effort of the regulatory authorities, ethics committees, investigators, pharma companies, and CROs.

However, the industry and the MENA region is still enduring in some parts political tension, cultural barriers and a lack of infrastructure to support this growth. The industry cannot ignore the potential of having access to more patients and the possibilities of growing markets. For example, the population of the MENA region is about 381 million people, which is about 6% of the total world population. While the percentage of clinical trials conducted in the MENA region is about 0.5%, this opens up immense potential to capitalise for local and multinational bio-pharm and clinical research organisations. The key is to continue cooperation to further develop and establish itself in the global marketplace for clinical research.

The 2nd Annual Promoting Clinical Trials Meeting taking place 7-8 October in Dubai will bring together the leading players to discuss these advancements and the on-going challenges. MENA has hosted the clinical trial operations of bio-pharma companies and it has matured with time, but there is still a large portion of the market untapped and waiting to be developed.

The issues of regulation, investment, initiative, lack of trained professionals and the need of patient education still persist in the background. Research from professionals within the MENA clinical trial market has come up with various fresh areas which need to be addressed. One of the questions is that although countries of the region are implementing their responsibilities as sponsors and regulators, has MENA really understood the need to be ready to realise the heath economic outcomes of clinical trials?

There is a lack of a comprehensive approach which would address investments, regulations and training needs of the region. Clinical trials of pharmaceutical products are fairly mature and experts are of the opinion that medical device research has to catch up as the demand increases. The belief is that clinical trials can revolutionise evidence based research of medical devices which at the moment are still very nascent. Does this mean that there is a potential misallocation of investments by the governments and health authorities?

The influx of bio-pharma companies, CROs and government that are including clinical research into their agenda, the clinical profile of the region now has a growing number of inventors and researchers working on technological innovations. The need now is to take this forward by focusing on investment initiatives and patenting innovation. This is an important factor in the process of developing the clinical trial market in the MENA region. With these challenges in the forefront, the region is positively gaining support from its regulators. They are moving to standardise training programs emphasising on tailored programs for the region. To ensure its global appeal, efforts are focusing on to adopting global clinical trial guidelines and license inspectors to maintain quality.



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