India is emerging as a new proving ground for pharmaceutical trials. Clinical trials in India typically cost 50% to 60% less than in the United States. The Indian population is genetically diverse, labor costs are much lower, the number of people is large, many Indian hospitals keep good records, and many diseases are prevalent in India. Furthermore many Indians are “drug naive,” meaning that they are not taking other drugs that could influence trial results. The Indian government, however, will not allow testing for basic drug safety, out of fear that Indian nationals would be viewed as “guinea pigs” for the West.
The bottom line: Medical outsourcing will lower drug development costs and save lives.
The full story is from Thursday’s Wall Street Journal, “India Emerges as New Drug Proving Ground,” Marketplace section. Here is an earlier MR post on medical outsourcing.