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Clinical trials involving Irish patients 'saved the health service €13m' over two years

A new report published today is calling for a scaling-up of clinical research infrastructure in Ireland.

CLINICAL TRIALS INVOLVING Irish patients have saved the health service millions of euro, according to a new report, which is calling for major changes to increase Ireland’s clinical research capability.

The report, by Clinical Research Development Ireland (CRDI), is advocating for a joint State-industry funded programme to scale-up clinical research infrastructure over the next five years.

This could lead to increased access to new emerging therapies for Irish patients and generate thousands of new jobs, CRDI said today.

According to the report, each patient participating in a clinical trial, on average, will generate a benefit of €13,500 to the economy as well as health service benefits from medicines worth an average of €5,899 per patient for those participating in trials.

The report estimated that in 2018, 500 Irish patients were recruited into clinical trials for 24 months, with annual revenues and savings to the health service of €7.5 million and €5.9 million over the two years.

“We see internationally that outcomes for patients are always better in countries where clinical research is further advanced,” said Professor Pat O’Mahony, chief executive of CRDI.

“It is proven that the more research-active a national health system is, the better the outcomes for patients. For Ireland to emulate the success of other countries’ clinical research, further collaboration and investment is required.”

O’Mahony said Ireland is doing about a quarter of what it should be in the realm of clinical research. Denmark, which has the same population as Ireland, runs four times the number of clinical trials.

“Our life sciences sector has grown rapidly over the past half-century, to a point where it now has global significance,” he said.

“However, our clinical research system, infrastructure or performance do not compare with our growth in the manufacturing sector. A real opportunity exists here now, to enhance Ireland’s level of clinical research to its fullest potential.”

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