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Clinical trials: India, China in close race

india Updated: Oct 27, 2006 10:33 IST

NOT JUST in electronics and toys, China is giving India a close competition in clinical trials too.

Chairman of the International Clinical Epidemiology Network (New Delhi) Prof Ranjeet Roychowdhury today said poverty and lack of proper understanding about the intricacies of unethical practices adopted in clinical trials might make ‘guinea pigs’ of our people.

Delivering a lecture on ‘Clinical trials in India in the 21st century – boon or bane’ at the Showcase KGMU-2006, Prof Roychowdhury said India, besides China, was the preferred destination for outsourcing clinical trials. “Clinical trials may help the country earn millions of dollars as foreign exchange, but we must keep in mind the ethical aspect,” he added.

Foreign drug companies get attracted to India because the cost of clinical trials in India was 60 per cent less than that in the USA, the country had a large skilled, English-speaking manpower and its population had numerous genetic diversities. However, he advised caution rather than jumping for the bait.

Meanwhile, Prof Roychowdhury also released a book by Prof PK Srivastava of the Department of Radio-Therapy. The book titled ‘Atlast of Musculo-skeletal and small parts ultrasound with color flow imaging’ has already been internationally acclaimed.

Principal secretary (Medical Education) Anita Singh emphasized the need of giving more impetus on research in medical institutions. She said without research it was not possible to excel.

Earlier, welcoming the guests, Prof Shalley Awasthi, faculty in charge of the research cell, said last year 155 research papers had been published by the KGMU faculty in reputed national and international journals. Moreover, this year about 125 research projects worth more than Rs. 3.5 crore were being run by agencies like World Health Organiation, UNICEF, INCLEN.

Addressing the gathering, vice-chancellor Prof Hari Gautam emphasised on the need of having high quality research. He said in India, AIIMS was the topmost institute in medical research and KGMU occupied the eight position. A poster presentation on research publications of the faculty was also organized.