The combination of a relatively low–cost workforce and increasingly reliable quality and ethical standards is turning the Asia-Pacific region into a hub for clinical trials. With pharmaceutical firms under growing pressure to provide innovative new products at reasonable prices, the region is becoming more desirable for conducting such trials to develop new drugs.
The trials are increasingly performed by contract research organizations (CROs) which put a premium on the ability to acquire the services of competent employees at a reasonable cost. Cost savings of conducting trials in the Asia-Pacific region are generally currently estimated to be 30% lower than in developed markets. New regulatory guidance in many countries in the region has enhanced the reliability of government oversight of such trials, while maintaining a regulatory framework that is not overly complex or onerous. That combination has been particularly attractive to CROs. In addition, in many cases, the number of patients with certain diseases can only be found in Asia.