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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 172-175

Do clinical trials conducted in India match its healthcare needs? An audit of the Clinical Trials Registry of India

Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Urmila M Thatte
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai - 400 012, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-3485.215970

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Background: India continues to contribute disproportionately to the global burden of disease and public health research output from India is also known to be not commensurate with her healthcare needs. We carried out the present study to assess if clinical trials were in line with the health care needs of the country by auditing the clinical trials registry of India. Materials and Methods: All the clinical studies registered in CTRI between July 20, 2007 and December 31, 2015 were searched in the “Trial Search” section. The total number of studies, their phases of development, and therapeutic areas were assessed. Trials in each therapeutic area was compared with the disease burden (DALYs) in that area taken from Global Health Estimates [2014] Summary Tables of the WHO. The number of trials conducted per state in India was also compared with the population of that state [Census 2011]. Results: A total of 6474 studies were registered of which 3325 (51.4%) were clinical trials. The state of Maharashtra had the highest number trials [16.4%] followed by Karnataka ( 11.6%) and Tamil Nadu (10%). Populous states like Uttar Pradesh (5.3%) and Bihar (1.4%) had far fewer trials. The largest number of trials was in the area of cancer (16.4%), followed by diabetes (12.1%) and cardiovascular diseases (10.1%). Infectious and parasitic diseases had the highest DALYs (82,681) and ranked first in disease burden but accounted for only 5% of the total trials and ranked 7th according to number of trials. Cancer ranked first in the number of trials (16.4%), but ranked 6th based on DALYs. Conclusion: Clinical trials conducted in India are not in consonance with her health care needs. Strengthening the capacity for conducting trials in the populous states and the north-eastern part of the country is necessary to allow a more equitable selection of participants. The government should introduce policies to encourage new drug development in areas where needed the most.

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