Of course we all know that cost is one issue that sends companies overseas and it is getting more expensive to bring a new drug to market. Under the related reading I have a few past articles, one with a couple VC firms fighting over a Chinese clinical trial company and another with a company in San Diego with their affiliation in China. In addition to being less expensive, the trials are in many instances conducted with individuals who have no other current medications as well.
One of the big focuses of the report too is to make sure we are not using under developed countries as a testing ground for the development of the drugs before they are used here. Cancer drugs may not fit into that category completely as the demand here in the US is high, but perhaps other types of treatments might be more in question overall. Mayo Clinic has even halted any new clinical services at their facilities as well. BD
Whatever the interpretations, the use of offshore clinical trials is growing. In the last 10 years, the proportion of United States-based researchers who direct clinical trials registered with the federal Food and Drug Administration has declined significantly, while the percentage of F.D.A.-registered researchers outside the United States has significantly increased, according to a report in January by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development in Boston.
In 1997, about 86 percent of F.D.A.-registered principal investigators were based in the United States, the Tufts study said. By 2007, only about 54 percent of about 26,000 F.D.A.-regulated chief scientists who conducted clinical trials that year were based in the United States.
Kenneth A. Getz, a senior research fellow at the Tufts center, said drug companies were looking abroad because it was often less expensive to conduct clinical trials outside the United States, and it was easier to find a large group of study subjects who had never been treated with medications.