More than 150,000 patients have participated in clinical trials promoted in Spain by the innovative pharmaceutical industry in the last twelve years. This is clear from the data collected by the BEST Project of excellence in clinical research, launched by Farmaindustria in 2006.
The BEST project allows the research activity of the industry to be measured and monitored every six months and, therefore, “to know where to focus to continue improving”, according to Amelia Martín Uranga, responsible for the initiative, this Thursday at the III Protagonists Forum, organized by Roche in Madrid.
The information gathered indicates that more than half of the clinical trials carried out are in the early stages (I and II), which are the most complex, which gives an idea of ??the high qualification of Spanish professionals and centers, and that the Most are developed in the field of oncology. It also shows areas of improvement such as the recruitment of patients. “There is a percentage of centers around 12% that have not recruited patients. This is a problem for all parties involved in a trial and, especially, for patients who have not been given the opportunity to participate, “said the representative of Farmaindustria.
Although the evolution of Spain in recent years has been very important, to the point of becoming an international reference, we must continue working to advance. In addition to the improvement of recruitment, other challenges in biomedical research in Spain are administrative barriers that are still in force, the need to improve hospital infrastructure, the lack of specialized personnel and, above all, encourage the patient to participate from the beginning in the trial and be a partner in certain decisions.
The real participation of patient groups in biomedical research is one of the current top priorities of the pharmaceutical industry. “Patients and relatives claim greater capacity for influence and decision in the process of research and development of new medicines,” explained Martin Uranga; and the pharmaceutical companies appreciate more and more the added value that these groups bring to these activities “.
Therefore, Farmaindustria works decisively in this field since, at least, 2011 when the Association became part of the IMI EUPATI Consortium, for the training of representatives of patient groups in the field of drug R & D. Since then, in addition, different workshops have been developed with patient organizations and, together with the Spanish Society of Clinical Pharmacology, a model thank-you letter was defined for the participants in a clinical trial.
The last milestone of this activity to promote the participation of patients in pharmaceutical R & D has been, in the hands of several representative entities of this group and a large group of associated companies, the development of a document of recommendations on this participation to offer the sector a safe and effective framework in which to articulate and develop it.
These initiatives are only part of the path that has to be taken, and that in recent years we are moving at a great pace, for the promotion of biomedical research in Spain and for the participation of patients.
Distefar believes the participation of the pharmaceutical industry in this type of studies is fundamental. Together we will achieve that the participation of patients in clinical trials will be higher.