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Perspect Clin Res. 2019 Jul-Sep;10(3):121-124. doi: 10.4103/picr.PICR_109_18.

Clinical trials in Asia: A World Health Organization database study.

Author information

Pharmaceutical Care Services, King Saud Medical City, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology Research Group, Discipline of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Department of Pharmacy, School of Applied Sciences, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England.


Background and Objective:

The Asian continent appears to be a growing destination for conducting cost-effective clinical trials, utilizing the available pool of treatment naïve subjects. This study aims to determine the growth rate of clinical trials in Asia.


A database review was conducted. Registered clinical trials conducted in selected countries in Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America between 2008 and 2017 were searched from the International Clinical Trial Registry Platform. Compound Annual Growth Rate was determined for registered clinical trials.


During the 10-year period, a total of 125,918 registered clinical trials were conducted in Asia. There was a 7-fold increase in the number of registered clinical trials in Asia. More trials were registered in Japan than any other Asian country (30.8%). The average annual increase in the number of registered trials was generally higher in Asia than the United States of America, Canada, EU countries, or Australia. Iran recorded the highest average annual increase in the number of all clinical trials in Asia (41.9%). The number of pediatric clinical trials in Iran also increased annually by an average of 30.4%, more than any other country included in this study.


Clinical trials recruitment in Asia is increasing faster than Europe, North America, and Australia. Lower trial cost and large patient pool may be contributory to this increase.


Asia; clinical trials; database; pediatric

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