International Clinical Trials Day: celebrating the foundation for future progress

Europe stands on the brink of an R&D revolution, with the new Clinical Trials Regulation set to streamline the application and supervision processes, thereby boosting research and cementing the EU’s place as a stronghold for clinical trials at global level. A more harmonised approach to conducting clinical trials in the EU, with a single submission, together with an overall streamlined assessment and a much improved approach to transparency, which respects the need to protect personal patient data and commercially confidential information, will make trials more efficient and rewarding for industry and patients alike.

Europe traditionally has been strong in life sciences, and the EU2020 strategy recognises the importance of innovation. The new Clinical Trials Regulation streamlines procedures and gives Europe a chance to turn recognition into action.

With this in mind, International Clinical Trials Day has never been a more important occasion for the pharmaceutical industry to celebrate. This serves as an opportunity to underscore the value that clinical trials bring to the drug development process and the significant benefits that this then affords patients in terms of access to life-saving medicines.

Clinical Trials are an essential part of research, representing 58.6% of a product’s total development costs, with a medicine typically in trials for 6-12 years. While offering the European research and clinical community the opportunity to work with the latest scientific discoveries and innovative medical care, contribute significantly to the European knowledge economy, and to achieving the EU 2020 headline target of 3% of GDP invested in R&D.

The story does not end here, though. The evolution of the big data/real world challenge is set to complement the results emerging routinely from clinical trials. With the leap to big data, real world data and comprehensive registries, enhanced by improved e-health, m-health and coordinating healthcare apps, we will be able to move more swiftly towards precision medicine, more targeted solutions for the benefit of patient health.

“We must not ignore the fact that the advent of the big data boom has only been possible, based on the sound foundation offered by clinical trials and the ever-enhancing capture of structured data over many decades,” says EFPIA Director General Richard Bergström.

This is the ultimate reason why International Clinical Trials Day must be celebrated with vigour.