Health Health.- Experts see before and after in clinical trials...

Health.- Experts see before and after in clinical trials and stress that without them “medicine does not advance”

They regret that the bureaucracy and the lack of investment prevent the capture of talent and being competent with respect to Europe


Researchers Mercè Boada and José Antonio Pérez Molina have defended this Wednesday that the coronavirus epidemic has marked a before and after in clinical trials – those that are done in the last stages of research, already in humans, to prove the safety and efficacy of medicines – and they have stressed that “without quality clinical trials, medicine does not advance.”

Boada, founder and medical director of Fundació ACE, and Pérez Molina, an infectologist from the Infectious Diseases Service of the Ramón y Cajal University Hospital, participated this Wednesday in the Digital Meeting ‘Biomedical research in the post-COVID era. The present and future of new clinical trials’, organized by Roche Farma and Europa Press, reflecting on how the epidemic has valued clinical research “in the medical management of patients in a situation of brutal stress.”

For Pérez Molina, the current situation has confronted two visions of medicine “from which sparks sometimes fly”, a “more paternalistic” one, which led to “giving something that could serve patients because people were very ill”; compared to another, “more scientific, which requires that these actions be protocolized and, to the extent possible, included in clinical trials.”

In this sense, it has affected that the Covid-10 pandemic has emerged “the importance of well-done clinical research” and also that the urgency does not have to be detrimental to quality but that it is possible to streamline some processes, such as those related to informed consents, and shortening protocol deadlines, “maintaining the same rigor and the scientific method that has always been maintained,” Boada added.

The meeting also reflected on the duration of a drug R&D process, which involves more than 10 years of research and a cost of more than 2.4 billion euros, and Pérez Molina has reported that these are currently being shortened processes for collaboration and information among all the groups that participate, for the position of the regulatory authorities to expedite them and also because society is “more willing to participate, with the confidence that we work for the common good.”


In line with that, experts have argued that it is necessary to “pedagogy” about clinical trials because they are “research” but this should not have a “pejorative” component, “guinea pig”. “It is research of the highest level and highest quality, it is not playing to see what works, it is the way in which science advances,” defended the infectologist from Ramón y Cajal.

Along the same lines, Boada has requested the collaboration of GPs so that they “do not trivialize” clinical trials and can transfer to their patients “the great effort and investigative rigor behind a clinical trial.” In addition, he has maintained that “we are all guinea pigs in the new situations we face every day.”


Pérez Molina and Boada have also made a comparison between the research in Spain and in Europe as a whole, in relation to public-private collaboration, procedures and the lack of public investment in this country, which prevents “we are competent” with with respect to Europe.

In his opinion, Spain does not have “that tradition of investing and collaborating” and here public investment in Spain “is not only short” but there is such a “suffocating bureaucracy” and “so obsolete processes” that, on occasions, hiring a researcher, even if the project has the money to do it, can take a year.

In any case, in his words, investment in research is so low that it makes it impossible to hire researchers and pay for the talent required. “The talent from outside does not come and the one from here leaves us because it has other possibilities in other countries”, have denounced the experts for whom Spain gives “excellent training” to its students but they leave because they do not have opportunities for professional development .

“It is not enough with a good university education, it is necessary to give them the possibility of development and that they can go wherever they want and that depends on the Government’s investment in research, if there is not, we are not competitive with the outside world”, they have summarized.


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