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Trop Gastroenterol. 2009 Jul-Sep;30(3):177-81.

Boom in clinical research industry: a dangerous trend.

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Department of Gastroenterology & Human Nutrition, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi-110029.


Over the last decade or so India has witnessed a phenomenal growth in the clinical trial industry. The projections forecast a continuing growth of this trend. It has been predicted that by 2011 India will be in charge of 15% of global clinical trials. The enthusiasm for the growth of this industry in India is shared not just by the major pharmaceutical companies and CROs but also equally so by government agencies. The raison d'ĂȘtre for medical research is that it should lead to maximum possible benefit to the largest number of people. Hence, an examination of the extent to which public good is served can act as a measure for objective analysis of this exponential increase in the clinical trial industry. After all it is the health and lives of the people that are at stake. On the face of it, it would seem that all trials testing the safety and efficacy of various molecules, by their very nature work towards public welfare as they are indispensible to the development of any drug including the life-saving ones. An increasing number of clinical trials at all stages in a product's life cycle are funded by the pharmaceutical industry. It would then seem that the industry-sponsored medical research is necessarily furthering the larger objective of human wellbeing. However, the operations of the pharmaceutical industry, the nature of the processes involved and the operative motives are a bit too complex to facilitate this larger objective so simply, just as yet. This warrants a closer look at the various aspects of industry-sponsored clinical research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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