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Indian pharma cos must raise public awareness on clinical trials

India is seeing an increase in the number of clinical trials initiated by either domestic or multinational pharmaceutical companies in recent years, but awareness about the trials among the public is low, according to a report on Friday.

Global Pharma companies actively provide information on their key ongoing and completed trials to a global audience through various digital channels like websites and official Twitter handles. However, there is a clear lack of such support in India.

The report by GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, called on the country’s pharma companies to address the lack of awareness via strategic approaches.

India is emerging as a key destination for clinical trials due to its large, diverse population and liberalised regulatory landscape.

As per GlobalData’s “Pharmaceutical Intelligence Center,” 413 pharma-sponsored Phase III trials involving new molecular entities across various therapy areas were initiated in India between 2018 and 2022.

However, GlobalData’s “Digital Marketing Intelligence” identified India as lacking in terms of clinical trial awareness campaigns by pharma companies.

“Despite the increasing focus on clinical development in India from key pharma companies, there are not many resources supporting clinical trial awareness,” said Srija Chilamula, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, in a statement.

“This can be addressed by pharma companies, alone or with active collaborations, providing patient education materials through multiple sources, both offline and digitally,” she added.

In India, rural populations face unique challenges compared to their urban counterparts, particularly in accessing digital resources due to factors such as language barriers, lower literacy rates, and socio-economic limitations.

Pharmaceutical sponsors can form partnerships with esteemed medical institutions or local governments to conduct awareness campaigns that effectively communicate the importance of clinical trials.

Utilising local languages in these initiatives can help overcome language barriers and educate patients about the benefits of participating in trials, including access to free treatment, regular check-ups, and potential monetary incentives, the report said.

“Increasing awareness could help pharma companies or contract research organisations by diversifying trials to study a larger population pool and aiding in enhanced patient enrolment/participation,” Chilamula said.

“For patients, increased awareness would remove misconceptions about clinical trials, while enabling access to new and innovative treatment options, particularly in rare disease, with low or no treatment costs. Ultimately, increased awareness would create a positive impact on the health sector,” she added.

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