The clinical research industry in India is expected to employ 50,000 professionals over the next five years, according to Indian trade association ASSOCHAM, PharmaTimes reported.
India is a recognized hub for global clinical research, with over 100 domestic and multi-national companies conducting trials locally and a clinical research industry worth $1.8 billion, according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India.
Whether India has the human resources to sustain the rapid evolution of its clinical research sector has been a matter of concern for years. In 2008, a report by the country’s Planning Commission suggested that a shortage of trained clinical research professionals, estimated between 30,000 and 50,000, was the biggest challenge facing India amid global competition for clinical trials.
As the trade association pointed out, the global outsourcing market for clinical research is estimated at $45 billion. Further growth in clinical trials is expected to be driven by a “robust pipeline” of looming patent expiries as well as potential expansion of authorized generic strategies and technology-enhanced generics, ASSOCHAM said.
This year, it added, companies are expected to conduct more than 15% of their global clinical trials in India.
According to ASSOCHAM, the introduction of electronic medical records in hospitals has also proved “a major attraction” for international CROs and multi-national companies looking to offshore trials to India.
The trade association's plug for India as a destination country for clinical trials comes amid a resurgence of concern about standards in the sector, particularly around ethics approvals and adherence.