Ireland can have a lead role for clinical trials in Europe, the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) told a conference today [Monday] ahead of International Clinical Trials Week.
Speaking at an event hosted in the Mansion House, Dublin, Dr Itziar Canamasas said, “All of the key stakeholders including industry, must actively collaborative together to realise our shared ambition to make Ireland a leading location for clinical trials”.
The results of an IPHA survey presented today show that it takes an average of eight months to recruit the first patient into a clinical trial in Ireland. That figure is based on 90 trials set up between 2013 and 2018, spanning 11 therapy areas and all four phases of the clinical development process. The measure is based on the number of calendar days required to recruit the initial patient from the date the company submits to a Recognised Ethics Committee. By comparison, other countries, such as Denmark, take just six months to complete the same process.
“Ireland can have a lead role for clinical trials in Europe,” said Dr Canamasas. “We can draw on our strong base of international pharmaceutical companies and highly regarded healthcare professionals who are experts in managing clinical trials together with a supportive public policy environment,” she added.
In light of the findings of this survery, the IPHA has called for the standardisation of site contracts (the Clinical Trial Agreement), which will shorten delays and save on legal fees for both hospitals and companies, protected research time for clinicians and hospital staff, realistic and achievable targets for clinical trials.
IPHA has welcomed the impending implementation of the Clinical Trial Regulation, and new ways of identifying and recruiting patients, in addition to Ireland’s recent decision to join the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN).
The IPHA shares the Government’s hope that Ireland’s membership with ECRIN will help Ireland to take on the country sponsor role for more pan-European clinical trials, which would ultimately benefit Irish patients.