Part of our mission at Crown CRO is to bring to market new, safer, and more effective medications, improve treatment outcomes, help advance medicine and, ultimately, create a healthier future. That is why we also wholeheartedly support the recent appeal for the new government to improve the conditions and resources for clinical research. The appeal was signed by 33 individuals and organizations involved in clinical research, including Pharma Industry Finland PIF. Crown CRO has been a PIF member since 2005.
The signatories to the appeal are concerned about the long-term decline of clinical research in Finland – and so are we. The trend must be reversed. After all, the clinical research we do today translates into practice tomorrow. Without research, we are unable to maintain the high quality of and equal access to care we are accustomed to in Finland.
The appeal calls for the continuous development of the regulatory environment to support research and the application of its results, increasing the opportunities and attractiveness of a clinical research career, and more funding with better targeting.
The clinical trial environment needs streamlining
Developing the regulatory environment is necessary to attract more clinical trials to Finland. This means, for example, that the legislative projects concerning genomic data, biobanks, clinical drug trials, and medical research must be concluded without delay and that the ethics review procedures preceding research projects must be streamlined, harmonized, and accelerated.
We also strongly support the establishment of a Finnish Clinical Trial Office (CTO), which would provide a centralized entry point for organizing clinical trials. Together, these developments would make the process of initiating clinical trials in Finland faster and more flexible and straight-forward.
Another step in advancing clinical research is making it a viable career option for junior doctors. This requires both increased funding and more flexible work arrangements so that it is easier to engage in both research and clinical work.
The third area in need of improvement is funding. State research funding for academic medical research has dropped from €90 million to €20 million in the past two decades, while at the same time the costs of doing research have increased drastically. The appeal calls for a significant rise in state research funding.
Working for the good of the whole society
The societal value of clinical research is enormous. That is why improving its conditions is so important. Investing in clinical research brings about a wide range of benefits. Through their participation in clinical trials, investigators receive valuable training, whereas hospitals, in turn, receive compensation for their work and get the study drugs free of charge. This means that more patients can be treated at a lower cost.
What is even more important, though, is how clinical research advances healthcare and gives Finnish patients the opportunity to benefit from the latest treatments. This is enormously important from the human point of view and will eventually work for the good of the whole society.
Last but not least, clinical trials also bring along economic benefits by attracting new investments to the country. By working together to develop the clinical research environment, we can improve our image as a leading clinical trial location and lure more research work to Finland. We at Crown CRO have invested a great deal in enticing global pharmaceutical companies to initiate clinical trials in Finland, thus generating income and work not only for our own employees but also for the surrounding ecosystem, including our vendors and subcontractors. Let us make sure that the 5,400 pharmaceutical industry employees in Finland will continue being busy also in the future!