Identifying opportunities in emerging markets
A strong technological and scientific infrastructure, world-class medical facilities and government incentives and support are just some of the advantages medical professionals should take into consideration when identifying new business locations globally. Innovation cannot thrive without these components.
Ranking seventh among Asian countries in terms of number of clinical trials, Thailand’s healthcare industry offers such an environment. With 53 hospitals accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI), some among the first to be accredited in Asia, Thailand has had a head start in establishing itself as a global healthcare hub, offering services at competitive prices and drawing medical tourists at a growth rate since 2008 of about 10.96%. The country spends 14% of its total budget on the healthcare industry, the highest in ASEAN.
Innovation in the biotechnology and medical industry has always been a focal point for Thailand. The Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS) serves to facilitate and advance high-quality clinical research in the country. It provides a one-stop shop for investors, business developers and life sciences companies. TCELS plays a significant role in coordinating and organizing clinical research, serving as a liaison between CROs within and outside of Thailand, connecting companies and researchers. TCELS also created multicenter Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) in most medical schools and research centers, which offer access to the country’s academic institutions.
Clinical research and trials in Thailand are largely focused around tropical diseases such as dengue, malaria, SARS, avian flu and Japanese encephalitis. Other opportunities exist in the respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine and oncological treatment areas, as well as those around infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.
For clinical professionals looking to invest in emerging markets, having a sound technological infrastructure, access to subjects, well-trained academics and researchers and full government support makes a world of difference.
Written by Guest Writer Ajarin Pattanapanchai. Pattanapanchai is a Deputy Secretary General at the Office of the Board of Investment. She has been involved in projects in the petroleum & petrochemical sector, chemical sector and energy sector. She was involved in formulating investment promotion policy for many sectors, including policy to promote industries such as aerospace, medical devices, biotechnology and R&D in Thailand. Her major positions include Director of Planning and Development Division, Director of Chemical Division, Director of Services and Public Utilities Division, Director of Management Information System Division and Senior Executives Investment Advisor.
This article was reprinted from Volume 24, Issue 02, of The CenterWatch Monthly, an industry leading publication providing hard-hitting, authoritative business and financial coverage of the clinical research space. The Action Items section features short columns focusing on actionable or how-to advice from clinical trial professionals. To submit an Action Item, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe >>