Clinical Trials in India: Balancing Economic Opportunity with
the Public Health Context

Lalit Dandona

Abstract: A surge of interest in clinical trials in India is evident following the opening up of the Indian market to multinational pharmaceutical companies for conducting clinical trials on new drugs, which they can accomplish at a much lower cost in India than in more developed countries. Some estimates suggest that annual business from clinical trials outsourced to India will build up over the next 5 years to hundreds of millions of US dollars or even exceed a billion US dollars, but others consider these as overestimates. With the setting-up of many private for-profit contract research organizations, the situation raises issues related to ethics and capacity, and the need to balance economic opportunity and public health interests.

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