Only 6.3% of the clinical trials carried out in Spain have the participation of Family and Community doctors. Many or few? Depending on the perspective from which you look at it, trying to make the workload of these health professionals seem like an already significant number. Or, it is a figure that can be increased since it represents an attractive space to explore.
From the employers’ association of laboratories in our country, Farmaindustria, they are committed to the opportunities that this new space represents. “We have more than 3,000 health centers in which some 50,000 health professionals work. Compared to that we have 832 hospitals. We have to take advantage of this opportunity,” argues the director of Relations with the Autonomous Communities of the employer’s association, José Ramón Luis-Yagüe.
The challenge is not new. It has been more than nine months since the first steps were taken. The associate director of Clinical and Translational Research at Farmaindustria, Amelia Martín Uranga, explains that “they are working in a mixed group made up of representatives of the pharmaceutical industry and the three primary care scientific societies of foundations and research institutes and of the administration of five autonomous communities and eight pharmaceutical companies”. Thus, specifically the Spanish Society of General and Family Physicians (SEMG), the Spanish Society of Primary Care Physicians (Semergen) and the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (Semfyc) have joined the project.
Over the course of about five meetings, “a participatory methodology has been established with the idea of presenting this as an opportunity for the country,” says Martín. For the director of Clinical and Translational Research, this is an opportunity for doctors at the first level of care. “It is interesting for professionals in this area; that the centers be provided with resources so that they can carry out research and achieve good coordination with the health authorities.” And far from seeing the negative aspects, she emphasizes that “this can be a stimulus to retain talent in primary care, not that, as you said, it is currently experiencing a delicate situation.”
The idea is that involving primary care is a way to extend Spanish excellence in clinical trials. This project makes it easier to bring the clinical trial closer to the patient in a context of proximity to their doctor. In this way, “the necessary decentralization of clinical research can be responded to, with the possibility of providing greater equity of access to all patients, regardless of where they reside,” says Martín.