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International Clinical Trials

Across the Globe

The purpose of clinical trials is, simply put, to evaluate the effects of a drug on trial participants. It makes sense to involve participants from as many ethnic groups as possible, in order to assess the drug’s efficacy and announce it as safe for the public to use.

However, despite continuous efforts to globalise these trials, developing countries are still under-represented in clinical research – and there are a number of factors contributing to this siuation, like the lack of commercial viability and trained researchers, for example (1). Why is this contradictory? For one, the sheer population numbers in these countries means that there is a bigger patient pool available than in developed countries; furthermore, these potential patients might also be more willing to participate in a trial, and – in what is perhaps the most significant benefit of carrying out trials in remote locations – they can be recruited at substantially less cost compared to more affluent countries, as well as at a much faster rate (2).

References
1. Visit: www.journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/ journal.pmed.1001228
2. Visit: www.fda.gov/downloads/training/ clinicalinvestigatortrainingcourse/ucm378499.pdf

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