The Scope of Clinical Research in India
India has been involved in clinical research for the past many years and is now on its way to becoming a major hub for it. The billion dollar industry is already witnessing high demand for qualified professionals. There is a massive need for clinical research professionals in this fast-growing field. Clinical research makes an interesting career option with a great scope for professional growth. To build a career in clinical research, basic education in this field is necessary. The following article discusses about clinical research and the colleges teaching clinical research courses.
About Clinical Research
A branch of medical science, clinical research is related to the effectiveness and testing of medications, diagnostic products, medical devices and treatment procedures for human use. These can be used for a disease’s treatment, prevention, diagnosis or for relief. Clinical research refers to the comprehensive bibliography of biology, drugs, and devices. It is a fast growing discipline in India as the country’s large population and lower costs allow multinationals to establish research facilities here. Also, there many widespread diseases and ailments here, which makes it important to conduct clinical research trials here for the field of pharmaceutics.
Clinical research is a scientific analysis of the impact, risks, benefits and efficacy of medicines or a medicinal product. These trials are done before the launch of the products in the market. The tests are undertaken at different stages and after-launch surveys are held to supervise the safety and monitor the side effects of large-scale use. The contract research organizations (CRO) or pharmaceutical companies carry out the tests. It is a good time to become part of this fast evolving industry. So how does one enter this field? The prerequisite for this field is an educational qualification in clinical research.
To enter this field, a person must hold a degree of Bachelor of Science. The clinical research sector can be joined after graduation in pharmacy, life science bioscience and medicine. Bioscience further includes sub-disciplines like genetics, botany, biochemistry and zoology. People with educational qualifications from these fields can venture into this industry. Those aspirants who have a working experience of two to three years are always given more preference.
The field is categorized into various branches. The common entry-level roles include the position of a Clinical Research Associate (CRA). A CRA is a key partaker in the planning, execution and supervision of the trials. They are responsible for the planning and execution of all activities like monitoring complex clinical trials and ensuring that the clinical practices are conducted well. They also assist in the creation of manuscripts and presentations from scientific meetings and technical journals and visit meetings and training programs. Clinical research also includes biostatistics. Biostatisticians do statistical designing, programming, statistical evaluation and summary-writing for clinical trial projects. There are additionally responsible for the submissions of Biological License Applications and New Drug Applications.
Another good post in this industry is of Clinical Research Managers (CRM). CRMs manage the planning and writing of protocols, informed consent forms and case report forms for trials. They make sure the case report forms are regularly reviewed and handed over to the data management group. Similar positions are Clinical Research Coordinator, Clinical Research Investigator, Business Development Manager and Clinical Data Manager.
With the arrival of multi-national companies establishing their research facilities in India, this industry is likely to develop exponentially. As per a report, there are over 50,000 clinical research jobs in the country. There is simply a need of qualified professionals. Let us explore some of the institutes offering clinical research programs.
There are many reputed Indian institutes imparting education related to clinical research. The following are a few of the many clinical research institutes in India.
- Academy for Clinical Excellence (ACE) – The Academy for Clinical Excellence or ACE is a Mumbai-based clinical research training institute. It was set up in February 2002. ACE is an educational venture by Pfizer India Ltd., Bombay College of Pharmacy, and Suven Life Sciences Ltd. The academy intends to provide comprehensive training to professionals for all clinical research needs. There are over 33 clinical researchprograms, including certificate courses like Foundations of Clinical Research and GCP, Advance Protocol Design, GCP for Investigators, Clinical Research theory to practice and IEC-Composition and Function.
Apart from these short certificate courses, the institute also offers Diploma programs and other courses, such as quality assurance in clinical research and GCP for investigators. There are also provisions for e-learning. The official website is www.aceindia.org.
- Institute of Clinical Research (ICRI) – Located in New Delhi, ICRI is another well-known clinical research institution solely focusing on specialized clinical research programs. It teaches full-time study programs like Masters in Clinical research + MBA for two years, MSC in Clinical Research for two years, PhD in Clinical Research, and part-time courses like post-graduate diploma in Clinical Research for one year. The official website of the institute is www.icriindia.com.
Other colleges offering Clinical research include Bombay College of Pharmacy and Cliniminds – Academy for Clinical Research Training and Management.
After completion of the courses, one can seek work in Pharmaceutical Companies, BA/BE Centers, Clinical Contract Research Organizations, Site Management Organizations, IT Firms in Healthcare or Clinical Domain, Data Management Contract Research Organizations, EDC Service Providers, Packaging – Labeling and Contract Manufacturers, Central Laboratories, Investigator and Site Staff, and Training Centers.
Author bio: Devika Arora is a prolific writer who compiles relevant facts and analyzes the current state of affairs pertaining to the domain of education in India. She is currently writing informative articles, news stories and blog posts on medical institutes in India and the various courses offered by them.
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