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India cannot be ignored for global clinical trials; new regulations restore clarity & confidence: Tim Regan

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Wednesday, September 6, 2017, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

India cannot be ignored for global clinical trials as its new regulations restore clarity & confidence, said Tim Regan, COO & CFO, The George Institute.

Government has now changed the laws on clinical trials. For the development of global health, one has to conduct global trials in India, China and other parts of the world. We find India professional, and collaborative. The key strengths of India is all of patient pool access, expertise and infrastructure, Regan told Pharmabiz in an interaction on the sidelines of the Australia Business Week in India held in Bengaluru recently.

George Institute has been in India for a decade. While it set up the George Institute in New Delhi and Hyderabad to conduct academic trials, George Clinical is based out of Bengaluru which houses 60 personnel. “We know the capabilities of this country. From an Australia perspective, India provides all that is needed to conduct large clinical trials here,” he added.

During the halt of clinical trials in January 2013, George Institute had to reduce the number of human studies. What any company would like is the certainty of regulations and encouragement of business. “Now it is heartwarming to hear that the government has reinstated human studies. It has given us the much-needed clarity and now it is going well. We are keen to support Indian pharma / life sciences companies and those across Asia. Also Australian companies are looking to connect with India for clinical trials. So it is a two-way collaboration, said Regan.

The Bengaluru-based George Clinical is conducting trials for large pharma companies globally particularly in diabetes and is working for local companies too. It is also adopting technology to drive digital health for cardiovascular diseases treatment.  “We recognize the fact that in India it is difficult to have doctors and hospitals present across remote locations. Digital health solutions and use of data analytics help predict the concerns. The concept of the Systematic Medical Appraisal, Referral and Treatment (SMART) Mental Health Programme, interventions brings in innovative models and mobile technology helps to reach out to remote areas and develop applications which can be used by health care workers or primary care doctors for mental health diagnosis and treatment,” he said.

Going forward, George Institute is looking to recognise the challenge that India healthcare poses. Healthcare in India is 1.5 per cent of its GDP as against China’s 6 percent and that of US is 20 per cent. India needs a healthcare system like the developed world. So we are working to offset the challenge to come up with innovations. The country has the expertise and hospitals and with 750 million residing in rural areas, healthcare needs to be delivered in a time bound manner, said Regan.


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