an activity that promotes the advancement of medicine

an activity that promotes the advancement of medicine
an activity that promotes the advancement of medicine

On May 20th we commemorate the World Clinical Research Day (IC), an opportunity to make visible the transformative impact that this activity has, both in health and economic terms.

Clinical trials are designed with the objective of understanding a disease or health condition in order to develop pharmaceutical and medical innovation: The research, which is carried out with volunteer participants, allows us to verify, in its different phases, the safety and effectiveness of potential medications, vaccines and medical devices intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure. We are talking about alternatives that can help increase the quality and life expectancy of people who sometimes suffer from pathologies for which there are not many options available.

The Dr. Agustina Elizalde (MN: 109.558), Director of Medical Affairs for Pfizer Argentine Regionhighlights that: “Pharmaceutical innovation has allowed important advances for humanity: the last century allowed the eradication of smallpox and polio; in recent years it has made certain types of cancer or HIV become chronic diseases that can be treated; and “Of course, we can name the example of COVID-19 and the impact of vaccines to deal with the recent pandemic.”

The relative improvement in life expectancy attributable to the pharmaceutical sector is significant: innovative medicines and vaccines would be responsible for the 73% improvement in life expectancy between 2000 and 2009 in Western countries. In this context, Pfizer is the main sponsor of clinical studies in the world, with annual investments that exceed 11 billion dollars at a global level and a pipeline that today has more than 110 molecules at different stages of the research process.

Economic impact

Clinical Research is a contribution to economies since it generates local investment. A large part of the resources with which clinical studies are financed come directly from the parent companies of the companies involved, which translates into an income of foreign currency, a product of the export of services. “For Pfizer, Argentina is today in the top 3 of countries that receives the most investment from the company for the implementation of clinical studies” explains the Dr. Elizalde.

“Clinical Research also helps reduce other associated expenses: the incorporation of new medications and vaccines into the health system contributes to reducing the use of other health resources such as hospitalizations, medical visits and/or concomitant medications, which can lead to financial savings In addition, it promotes greater work productivity of the population, by not getting sick or controlling their condition, and this also contributes to reducing expenses due to absenteeism, disability pensions, etc. “Patients have protocol follow-up where they receive excellent medical care at no charge to the health system,” reflects the patient. Dr. Agustina Elizalde.

Clinical research favors the advancement of medicine and represents an opportunity for economic development

Likewise, carry out activities of clinical research It trains local health professionals in international standards, contributes to generating quality employment and promotes a better work infrastructure.

Argentina’s role

In recent years – especially with the advancement of new technologies and the experience left by the COVID-19 pandemic – Argentina has made important advances in R&D. Today, the country has regulatory processes and more agile times for the approval and implementation of protocols, which has given it greater competitiveness to attract research and provide services abroad.

“Our country has excellent technical and professional capacity, something that Pfizer recognizes and that is why we work with different local centers that collaborate in research that the company leads globally,” explains the Dr. Elizalde and adds: “In the last year we invested close to 60 million dollars and today we have 25 projects in progress in areas such as oncology, vaccines, inflammatory diseases and hematology.

Currently, innovation laboratories represent the 44% of total investment in ID of the entire business sector in Argentina, above other industries such as oil, automotive and even software.

A case that Dr. Elizalde stands out is Argentina’s participation in the clinical study of the new vaccine for Respiratory Syncytial Virus: “We were part of this project along with other countries such as the United States, Canada, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands and South Africa. We contributed more of 12% of the data, positioning us as one of the global leaders. This is just a vestige of how much we can continue to build.

Demystifying Clinical Research

There are many conspiracy theories about Clinical Research that are detrimental to its practice. “It is important to highlight that we are talking about one of the most regulated activities in the entire economy, with specific processes to guarantee its correct implementation, seeking to generate reliable and quality scientific evidence” he describes. Elizalde.

Clinical research allows us to verify, in its different phases, the safety and effectiveness of potential medications, vaccines and medical devices.

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has represented a before and after in raising awareness about the importance of clinical research: there is a greater understanding of the impact it can have on people’s lives and the relevance of scientific evidence. A survey carried out by the consulting firm Voices on the perceptions around this practice, which included 850 Argentines, showed that: 7 out of 10 would participate in research of this type.

The Dr. Elizalde concluded that “our purpose of innovating to change the lives of patients has guided us for more than 175 years at a global level, a time that has filled us with learning but that challenges us to continue creating more and better therapeutic and prevention alternatives. The Clinical research is a light of hope for people with unmet health needs, with conditions that today make it impossible for them to carry out their activities, share with their loved ones or plan for the future. We talk about promoting the well-being of the population in all its aspects. investing in this activity is a source of pride and responsibility for us.

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