Global Perspective – China Emerges
With the recently concluded gathering in Nice, France, I have now attended three Medidata User Group (MUG) meetings this year. The Americas and European user meetings—A-MUG and E-MUG—were great fun and informative as always, but the one that really piqued my interest was the inaugural China MUG (C-MUG) held in Beijing this September. The sheer growth of clinical research activity in China and the willingness and receptivity of the many clinical trialists to embrace eClinical technologies is striking. The folks I met occupied the full spectrum of eClinical adoption. They ranged from those taking their first tentative steps transitioning from paper to electronic CRFs to those at the cutting-edge of newer, innovative approaches to running clinical trials with cloud-based platforms and processes driven by best practices. One example was their openness to using dynamic allocation randomization methodologies facilitated by centralized randomization and trial supply management (RTSM) systems. The implementation of the cutting-edge, cloud-based technologies that we are starting to take for granted in the Americas and Europe are not without their challenges. Language, system access and regulatory considerations were prevalent themes in many of China MUG discussions, making this a clear take home message for sponsors, CROs and clinical technologists alike. For western life sciences companies, the threat of being “leapfrogged” by an emerging market—such as China—with the desire and drive to innovate the entire approach to clinical trials is real. What’s your perspective on global innovation and competition in clinical research? See you in New York for A-MUG 2013! Guest blogger Ehsan Ramezani is senior director of Balance solutions at Medidata. You can reach Ehsan by email. For more information on Medidata’s RTSM system, email email@example.com.