THAILAND PLANS CLINICAL TRIALS BOOST
Thailand is attempting to develop its life sciences sector and promote the country as an attractive location to conduct clinical trials. Global annual expenditure on clinical trials is estimated to be US$15bn. By attracting some of the larger studies, Thailand is hoping to encourage a technology transfer, in order to develop the healthcare sector. However, Thai pharmaceutical R&D remains at an early stage.
Nevertheless, Thailand boasts a strong hospital and tertiary care infrastructure.
The health ministry has also recently streamlined trial procedures, significantly
cutting approval delays. Despite these positive moves, foreign firms continue
to point to weak data protection laws. Under current legislation, companies
that fund clinical trials are forced to hand over their data to the government
before products can be approved for marketing. Western-style data exclusivity
periods have recently been introduced in Singapore and China, but have yet to
be taken up in Thailand.