Recession hit West storms into India for clinical research, pharmacovigilance next growth path for CROs

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 India’s clinical research organizations (CROs) are set for exponential growth going by the number of assignments which are coming in here. The global economic slowdown which has seriously impacted western world has benefited the Indian clinical research industry. Scores of assignments are pouring in to conduct clinical trials, pharmacovigilance studies and data management works.

The country is considered as a hub for clinical trials by pharma multinational companies (MNCs) primarily because of the diverse disease patient pool, scientific acumen, hospital infrastructure that help to provide the high quality and less expensive work. These aspects have made the recession hit international companies to off load assignments to India, said Dr Ramananda S Nadig, dean and chief operating officer, Clinical Research Education and Management Academy (CREMA).


Pharma MNCs are also exploiting India’s competencies in Information Technology and its strong low cost skill-sets by setting up centers for their global clinical data management functions in India.

According to Dr Saral Thangam, Technical director, Lotus Clinical Research Academy, the key attraction towards India is the availability and confidence in the qualified trained personnel comprising of pharmacy graduates and doctors who are sound in spoken and written English.

In fact, the global recession has led companies in the West to largely look at low cost markets which include India and China. However, India is preferred over China in the area of clinical record documentation only because of our English knowledge, she added.

Western companies are eager to set up pharmacovigilance centres in India. The CROs here have demonstrated competence in quality deliverables in human studies and pharmacovigilance is an extension of this which covers reporting of adverse drug reaction (ADR) and post marketing surveillance. In fact, for CRO pharmacovigilance is a logical extension. Even Indian pharma companies have started pharmacovigilance as backend services. IT majors like Accenture, TCS and Infosys are particularly focusing on pharmacovigilance, said Sudhir Pai, managing director, Lotus Clinical Research Academy.

It is not just the West countries evincing interest on India, but the Japan which is the third largest pharma market in the world is expected to transfer much of the clinical research work to India soon, said Pai.

The transfer of jobs from global locations to India will give an opportunity to Ecron Acunova to scale up operations and improve processes, said DA Prasanna, founder, Ecron Acunova.

There is an expansion of facilities by CROs. GVK Biosciences has commissioned its new clinical pharmacology unit (CPU) in Ahmedabad. The DCGI-audited facility is the second centre after its Hyderabad unit which adds 110 beds to the company's existing capacity of 144 beds and will aid faster recruitment solutions to our global customers, said Manni Kantipudi, president, GVK Biosciences.


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