New Straits Times
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KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry is on the right track in carrying out clinical trials in the country, with 70 new ones so far.
Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the ministry targets 150 new clinical trials this year and 1,000 by 2020.
"We are on the right track and are confident of achieving our target," he said after launching the 5th National Conference For Clinical Research and the Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM).
He said through CRM, the people would be able to experience new technology and the latest drugs in the world.
"We are confident this will help develop the healthcare environment in the country and train new manpower human research on clinical trials.
"The CRM can coordinate with government and private institutes as well as universities to facilitate foreign direct investments."
CRM is a national effort to provide a unique strategy to attract clinical trials to Malaysia where it will also seek ways to increase foreign direct investments through a higher number of industry sponsored research projects.
Liow said CRM will also function as a non-profit, governmental, site management organisation to facilitate access to the ministry's network of 23 clinical research centres linked to other independent centres established in private hospitals and medical universities.
"The CRM will also serve as a single information and referral entry point to the 341 hospitals and hundreds of clinical trial sites in the country."
He said last year, more than 1,000 clinicians, pharmacists, nurses, clinical research associates, study coordinators and support personnel were Good Clinical Practice (GCP) certified.
Nine hospitals have been identified as Centres of Research Excellence (CoRE), each led by a leader who will train and mentor doctors and nurses in clinical research.
The hospitals are Sarawak General Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Sabah, Tengku Bainun Hospital, Perak, Penang Hospital, Serdang Hospital, Selayang Hospital, Ampang Hospital, Putrajaya Hospital and Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
Clinical trials can be observational study to find ways to identify and prevent a disease or an interventional study to test new treatments, drugs, surgical techniques or radiation therapy.
Patients who volunteer may be given a token sum to cover travel expenses. This will be monitored by the authorities to ensure financial incentives are not used to influence them.
Those keen to take part in the study can log on to www.nmrr.gov.my. However, they are advised to consult their doctor before volunteering.