Spain, a world leader in conducting clinical trials of new drugs


Farmaindustria has collected in a document the measures that 120 experts from hospital centers and pharmaceutical companies propose to boost Spanish leadership and attract more investment.


Spain has advanced in recent years to position itself among the countries in the world with the best conditions to host the development of clinical trials for new drugs. In fact, one out of every three tests carried out in Europe already has Spanish participation. This leap in research has been made possible largely thanks to cooperation between the healthcare system and the pharmaceutical industry, as is being seen in the current coronavirus pandemic, where a significant part of the trials carried out to find a therapeutic solution they have Spanish participation.

The research and development model for new medicines is increasingly international, open and collaborative, and Spain has positioned itself very well to benefit from these developments and to attract more research investment by pharmaceutical companies to the country. Today, the pharmaceutical industry is already leading R&D investment in the entire industry in Spain, with 20% of the total, and almost half of the more than 1,100 million euros it invests per year are in contracts with third parties, mainly hospitals, universities and other public and private research centers.

But it is not just a question of financial investment. “This model has an impact on the improvement of the healthcare system, since clinical research generates a virtuous circle that implies, of course, investment for hospitals, but also training and prestige for doctors, who are at the forefront of research and can apply this experience to their healthcare work, and, above all, added value for patients, who benefit from early access to medicines and the highest quality of healthcare, “explains Humberto Arnés, CEO of Farmaindustria.

In this context, where the commitment to biomedical research has shown to be of vital importance for the future of societies and an opportunity for Spain by virtue of the position achieved in these years, Farmaindustria has been working for a long time to contribute to promoting research of excellence in our country.

The document Criteria of excellence for conducting clinical trials responds to this objective, a decalogue with recommendations to enhance the role that Spain can play as a world reference country for conducting clinical trials on new drugs. It is the product of the opinion of 120 experts from hospital centers and pharmaceutical companies participating in the BEST project, Farmaindustria’s initiative to promote clinical research in Spain.

The main milestone of this document was a workshop held in Madrid last year and which brought together promoters, clinical researchers and trial managers, who discussed in depth the increasingly demanding requirements of clinical research on avant-garde and the challenges to maintain and improve the competitiveness of Spain to host testing.

The authors of the document recall that in the current scientific landscape, where clinical research is, as has been said, increasingly open, collaborative and global, Spain has positioned itself among the European countries with the best conditions for the development of clinical trials, “Among other factors, due to the scientific level of health professionals, the excellence of our hospitals, the support of the Health Administration, the increasing involvement of patients and the confidence of the pharmaceutical industry in our country, in its professionals and in its facilities”.

New designs and metrics to shorten deadlines

Experts emphasize that now, for Spain to make the leap to being one of the world leaders in clinical research, it is necessary, among other aspects, “highly qualified human teams, adequately sized, endowed with professionalized resources and with a high degree of involvement and motivation; Managers committed and involved in facilitating an ecosystem that favors clinical research, and the promotion of research in early stages developed by researchers of excellence in the country. ”

In addition, the decalogue states that it is necessary to promote the development of new clinical trial designs, with the aim of improving clinical development times and the incorporation of quantitative and qualitative metrics that allow identifying areas of improvement in which to work to help be predictable and gain in competitiveness. The group of experts is also committed to greater flexibility in adapting to new monitoring procedures, “which will require mechanisms for remote monitoring,” an aspect whose need has been clearly demonstrated in the current coronavirus pandemic.

At Distefar we are proud that Spain has become one of the ideal countries to carry out clinical trials.

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