The survey of PReMA members, clinical research organisations and universities ascertained trialemployment and cost data, the number of local participants and sites, and challenges andopportunities for Thailand based clinical research. Face to face stakeholder interviews wereperformed to further explore survey findings and collect qualitative information. Desktop researchand analysis sought to complement, triangulate and fill gaps. Sources referenced included clinicaltrial databases (clinicaltrials.gov, Thai Clinical Trials Registry)1, government departments (Ministryof Public Health, Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board) and publishedpapers.
Outcomes of consultations contributed to aStrengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats(SWOT) analysisand the development of policy recommendations.
This occurred in tandem with economic analyses. The costs and benefits investigated were:
- Direct and indirect economic contribution This is broadly equivalent to the addition to Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) made by both the organisation which conduct clinical trials and by the businesses which supply goods and services to those organisations. For example, if a pharmaceutical company engages a contract research organisation (CRO), the value added includes not only the profits earned by the CRO, but also those made by the electricity utility, medical equipment makers and data storage companies from supplying the goods and services used in the trial.
- Economic value of medicines produced Companies pay for trials in the hope that, eventually, this will result in new medicines coming to the market. Clinical trials are long and expensive, and most of them do not result in new medicines. For those that do, there are often lengthy public approvals processes, followed by only a limited period under patent protection to try to recoup development costs. This report estimates the long-term economic value of medicines produced as a result of clinical trials conducted in Thailand in 2015.
- Health benefits Most long run improvements in health are due to better medicines and medical devices. These in turn are the result of medical research, most of which is in the form of clinical trials. While most of these benefits accruing to the Thai population will be from international trials, some will also be due to trials conducted in Thailand. This report uses standard techniques to assign a financial value to the years of healthy life so gained in Thailand.
These benefits are compared to the costs of conducting clinical trials in Thailand in 2015 using a cost benefit analysis framework.