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New Report: Clinical Research Drives Health Innovation

Southeast Asia is home to nearly 9 percent of the world’s population and one of the fastest growing economic regions in the world. Thanks to treatment breakthroughs and wider health care access, people across the region are living longer than ever before. There is tremendous opportunity to build on this foundation through additional investment in early stage clinical research and pro-innovation policy reforms that continue to improve the health for those living in Southeast Asia.

A new analysis by Healthy Innovation explains the impact clinical trials can have on accelerating the medicine development process, as well as the value and benefits of innovation, including key opportunities for growth and impressive economic benefits. In Thailand, for example, clinical trials contributed $270 million USD to the country’s GDP in 2015, and the long-term economic return of medicines produced from those trials was $13.4 million USD.

Singapore, a regional leader in clinical research, has also experienced the benefits of investment in innovation. After the country adopted effective patent protection and enforcement policies, among other economic policy reforms, it nearly tripled its pharmaceutical manufacturing. Between 2000-2017, more than 7,000 clinical trials took place in Singapore, increasing the country’s intensity of clinical research by more than ten times of that in Malaysia, the second most clinical research intense country in Southeast Asia.

Conversely, despite Indonesia’s growing population and improved health care infrastructure, the country has underperformed when it comes to clinical trials, conducting no early-stage clinical trials between 2000-2017. But, with the right policies in place, Indonesia has the ability to explore new areas of medical innovation and discover breakthrough treatments.

It’s important for countries throughout Southeast Asia to enforce effective intellectual property protections and invest in clinical research to provide greater access to life-saving treatments and improve patient health.

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