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India – The New Tiger of Clinical Trials

As India becomes an ideal destination for clinical trials, success depends upon effective multilingual, cross-cultural communications, reports Gary Muddyman of Conversis

In the on-going race to develop the next billion dollar home-run medication, pharmaceutical companies are investing more time and financial resources than ever on R&D. In an effort to control costs and increase their return on investment, many are looking to the developing world to conduct clinical trials.

Expanding any business into new international markets is difficult. Add the many regulatory and legal issues associated with conducting clinical trials overseas and companies will face even more challenges. More and more pharmaceutical companies are taking advantage of the services provided by globalisation, internationalisation, localisation and translation (GILT) vendors.

Given the technically challenging nature of GILT services, it is critical that pharmaceutical companies choose the right partner and undertake a detailed cross-borders strategy. Only with the right translation and cross-cultural services in place can a pharmaceutical firm establish the trust needed to conduct a successful clinical trial in foreign markets. With improved economic landscapes and communication infrastructures, including localisation and translation services, many countries once thought to be ‘third world’ are now centres for excellence in international clinical trials.

Nowhere is this truer than in India. Today, India is the world’s largest democracy and is second only to China in terms of population, which it is expected to surpass within the next 50 years. Often referred to as the new ‘tiger’ of economics, India boasts the world’s fourth largest economy in terms of GDP. With a cultural heritage that goes back more than 5,000 years, it is also one of the world’s oldest civilizations, giving it much of its cultural richness. Despite a significant population that is still living in poverty, India has recently seen a period of dramatic economic growth, including a number of multinational companies outsourcing their clinical trials to India. With a population in excess of one billion, India offers multinational pharmaceutical companies an ideal destination for their clinical trials.


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Gary Muddyman is Managing Director and CEO of Conversis, a leading UK-based provider of globalisation, internationalisation, localisation and translation (GILT) services. Gary founded Conversis, and leads the company’s strategic business development. Prior to joining Conversis, he served as Director of Operations for K International Plc. Previously, Gary spent 16 years working for London-based HSBC Asset Finance UK Ltd, in particular helping to create the Metropolitan Collection Services, the debt management arm of HSBC. Gary received his master’s degree in Business Administration from Warwick University.
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