Globalization of Clinical Trials - Where are We Heading?

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Abstract

The last decade has witnessed a greater transparency in clinical research with the advent of clinical trial registries. The aim of the study was to describe the trends in the globalization of clinical trials in the last five years. We performed an internet search using the WHO International clinical trials registry platform (WHO ICTRP) to identify the clinical trials conducted from January 2007 to December 31, 2011 among 25 countries. Among the 25 countries, the United States, Japan and Germany occupy the top positions in the total number of clinical trials conducted. Clinical trials in the US (36312) constituted 31.5% of the total number of trials performed during this period. However over a period of five years both US and Western Europe appear to show a decline, while the emerging countries show a rise in clinical trials registered. Among the emerging countries China, India and Republic of Korea are most active regions involved in clinical trials. Cancer, diabetes and respiratory diseases were most widely researched areas overall. Although the study confirms the transition in the clinical trials research towards emerging countries, the developed regions of the world still contribute to more than 70% of the trials registered worldwide.

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