Liow: We stand to gain
PETALING JAYA: Malaysians can take advantage of new technologies and the latest drugs when more pharmaceutical companies conduct clinical trials in the country, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
He said that from Jan 1 to May 31, 70 new trials were conducted.
“There are 164 more ongoing industry-sponsored research (ISR).
“Together with the 70 new trials, we have a total of 234 ISR, which has already exceeded our target of 150 clinical research projects for this year,” Liow said after opening the 5th National Conference for Clinical Research 2011 and the launch of Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) here yesterday.
The ministry's target is to reach 1,000 clinical trials by 2020.
CRM is a non-profit governmental site management organisation which will be the single information and referral entry point to an extensive network of 341 hospitals and hundreds of clinical trial sites.
Liow said clinical research had been identified as one of the entry point projects under the National Key Economic Area for healthcare.
He said Malaysia was ranked by the A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index 2011 as the third most attractive offshore destination in Asia after India and China, based on its financial attractiveness, people skills and availability, and business environment.
CRM would get more clinicians, nurses and study coordinators to be certified and improve efficiency in the approval procedures, upgrade on-site facilities and be more aggressive in marketing and promotions, said Liow.
He added that CRM would also focus on ways for Malaysia to be a bigger player in offshore contract research by ensuring transparency in financial processes, reducing timelines and having a single marketing platform.
On another matter, Liow said the Malaysian Medical Council would take action against doctors if they were involved in issuing good health certificates to patients with chronic diseases to assist them in getting commercial and public transport vehicle licences.
“It is very important for these licence holders to undergo medical check-ups to ensure that they are healthy enough to be on the road,” he said.
He added that the ministry would also work closely with the Transport Ministry to monitor and prevent such cases from happening.
A Malay daily reported that people with chronic diseases could get a clean bill of health from clinics in Kuala Terengganu by only paying RM4 without having to undergo medical check-ups.