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The Rising Sun

Earlier this decade, the lure of inexpensive labour and the pressure of budgets and competitive drivers provided initial impetus for the pharmaceutical industry to explore emerging regions for clinical trials. Since then, countries including China, India and Korea have proven to be prime areas for both regional and global clinical trials. The region’s growing attractiveness is reflected in the number of regional and multinational contract research organisations (CROs) now operating there. Asia has experienced a rush of clinical activity, both organically and through partnerships, as trial sponsors and vendors seek to establish and strengthen capabilities across the continent.

Earlier this decade, the cost of clinical trials in the region yielded significant savings compared with the cost of US trials. Much of these savings were associated with lower-cost core labour services, such as data management and clinical monitoring. The cost differential has now shrunk, partly due to economic growth across East Asia and market maturity, as Asian CROs increasingly offer advanced clinical development capabilities.


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As Vice President of Implementation Services at Medidata, Mukhtar Ahmed helps life science organisations to streamline and enhance clinical trial processes. Mukhtar has over 20 years of experience in the business consulting and CRO industries, having held positions at Kendle, PAREXEL, Oracle and IBM, and serving as a board member to the NHS Primary Care Trust. Mukhtar is a regular industry speaker on strategic outsourcing and the role of clinical technologies. Mukhtar earned a BS with honours from Brunel University and a diploma in computer studies at Buckinghamshire University College.
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Mukhtar Ahmed
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