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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Career in Clinical Research


Clinical research




Clinical research in India is expected to grow to a Rs 10,000 crore industry by 2010 spelling an opportunity of 50,000 jobs within India. While the pharmaceutical industry in India is growing at the rate of 11%,the clinical research industry is expanding at the rate of 84%. 


   India has emerged as one of the most important hubs in South East Asia for clinical research due to its huge population base, high prevalence of diseases, large pool of talent and the English-speaking doctors as compared to the other countries. 


   The regulatory norms in India are gradually easing and are becoming more favourable to this industry. India, today, has well trained investigators and abundance of medical professionals proficient in the English language as well as superior communication and IT network. All this has helped India catch-up with international standards and nearly 50% of the drug development process is being outsourced to India by multinational giants across the globe. 


   The clinical trial market worldwide is worth over $52 billion and around Rs 70, 000 crore is spent globally every year on clinical trials. As the clinical research industry has grown over the last couple of years, with the presence of 200 research organisations in the country, there are a few trends being observed in the country. There has been an increase in the number of people participating in phase two and phase three trials. With more than 18,000 clinical trials going on in the West, one in every 15 Americans is a participant. 


The clinical research industry in India has grown from Rs 20 to 100 crores in the last three years. As per a recent McKinsey report, it is expected to touch Rs 5,000 crores by 2010 and will employ 50,000 people in the next five years. There will be a huge demand for qualified and trained clinical research professionals. 


  According to the recently released document by Planning Commission, headed by Montek Singh Ahluwalia, it has been pointed out that India is short by 30,000 to 50,000 research personnel, including trial investigators, auditors, personnel to serve on ethics committees and data safety management boards. The requirement of the industry is as high as 50,000 against the current availability of only 5000 trained professionals. 


Clinical research is an industry, which requires multi-disciplinary teams working in matrix structures with strong technical, management and communication skills and an in-depth knowledge in each area should commensurate with the roles expected of them. While all these traits are equally important, the most important is communication. Clinical research requires communication across the whole spectrum of society from academics, government departments to local hospitals and patients in rural communities. 


According to an ICRI study conducted recently, the clinical research market worldwide is over $45 billion. The sector has employed an estimated 2,10,000 people in the US and over 70,000 people in the UK which form onethird of the total research and development staff. There are more than 2,50,000 positions vacant globally and the salaries vary approximately $60,000 per-annum for a clinical research coordinator to almost $1, 00,000 per-annum for a business development manager. These large numbers speak volumes about the lucrative career and its infinite employment opportunities. Big companies offer big bucks. Even a trainee may get anywhere between Rs 25,000- 50,000 per month. 


   Students who have been deciding onto institutes for clinical research must find out whether institutes have tie-ups with reputed organisations from outside India. This is important as clinical research is a global field, so an international exposure is essential.



Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group


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