ISCR advocates increased participation in clinical trials

The ISCR, as an organisation, is exploring avenues to expedite the delivery of drugs to patients and incorporate clinical trials into the care process

February 04, 2024 07:48 am | Updated 07:48 am IST - HYDERABAD

Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the journey from the initial discovery of a vaccine to its market availability typically extended over a 10-15 year period, with a large portion of time dedicated to conducting clinical trials. However, under the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, a vaccine programme was successfully completed within a year, said experts from the Indian Society for Clinical Research (ISCR).

The ISCR, as an organisation, is exploring avenues to expedite the delivery of drugs to patients and incorporate clinical trials into the care process. Despite India’s large population, the country accounts for just 3% of clinical trials globally.

Seema Pai, Secretary of ISCR, acknowledged that while awareness has increased, there is significant room for improvement in India’s participation in clinical trials.

Meanwhile, private hospitals in Telangana are playing a pivotal role, having extensive infrastructure capable of accommodating and facilitating clinical trials. Experts from ISCR highlight the support available in these private healthcare institutions, ranging from counselling setups to pharmacies, creating a conducive environment for volunteers participating in clinical trials.

The organisation underscores that many challenges faced by government hospitals in terms of facilities are addressed by private institutions. “Capitalising on this advantage, these private facilities not only attract more clinical trial opportunities but also contribute to increased employment opportunities.”, said Sanish Davis, President of ISCR. He highlighted how this growth leads to the expansion of the hospital’s infrastructure, making an impact on the healthcare ecosystem.

Anirban Roy Chowdhury, treasurer of ISCR, pointed to the advantageous network of multiple branches in most private hospitals in Hyderabad. He asserts that Telangana’s private hospital setup rivals western counterparts with its abundance of state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.

In addressing the potential for government institutions in the State to match these standards, experts suggested exploring partnership models or engaging in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

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