Despite maintaining regional offices within Africa, many major drug and device manufacturers frequently overlook the continent when sponsoring clinical studies. Cultural barriers, political upheaval and uneven infrastructure are certainly causes for the lack of interest. But Africa offers tremendous expertise and opportunity for drug and device companies looking for cost-effective study sites and appropriate patient drug market populations.
As challenging as Africa may seem, drug companies have made commitments to improve healthcare across the continent, and these companies’ clinical development strategies go hand-in-hand with that improvement. In coming years, the drug market and device industries will greatly expand their clinical development presence in Africa, mainly in South Africa and a select few North African nations.
Make sure that your clinical strategy team has all the knowledge available about the growth opportunities in these countries. Africa presents a unique profile that interests many life sciences companies. If the following benefits outweigh the challenges for a clinical team — as they often do — trial sponsors will find value in Africa:
BOOST PATIENT ACCESS IN THESE EMERGING LOCATIONS
Of all emerging locations or regions, Africa has arguably the least access to quality care, ensuring a steady stream of dedicated patients to fill trial enrollments. In addition, the most advanced nations offer highly diverse patient populations that will translate well for submissions in the US and EU.
LEVERAGE AFRICA’S PROXIMITY
Many major European companies are located just across the Mediterranean from North Africa, making travel and communication easier than in Latin America, for example. For American companies, Africa is much closer than Asia.
BENEFIT FROM UNDERUTILIZATION
Though trial saturation is not a concern in any emerging markets yet, Africa is the least saturated of all regions. Companies that establish clinical operations bases now will be ahead of the pack when more of the industry turns to Africa.
– See more at: http://www.cuttingedgeinfo.com/research/clinical-development/africa-clinical-trials/#sthash.LcAO0F3A.dpuf