Clinical research landscape in Latin America.
Clinical research has changed in the past two decades, shifting from industrialized Western countries to so-called emerging or low-income and middle-income countries in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Africa.
The globalization of research is receiving considerable attention due to the increasing number of offshore research and development activities from the United States, Europe, and Japan.
Recent studies have challenged the traditional thinking of cost-related factors as the primary reason for offshoring clinical trials.
They have shown the importance of the recruitment of human subjects in trials.
The “recruitment crisis” in the home country seems to be the main contribution to and a key driver of offshore clinical research activities.
Latin America Is Emerging As A Desirable Clinical Trial Destination
There are many factors to consider when selecting a clinical trial destination, and Latin America is now one of the most desirable places for clinical research.
Due to several factors, including its ethnically diverse population and solid doctor-patient relations, Latin America has become one of the most attractive locations for international clinical trials.
Latin America supports about 10 percent of clinical research worldwide. According to the Pan American Health Organization, 10.2 percent of the global COVID-19 clinical trials were conducted in Latin America.
The pharmaceutical industry invested approximately $980 million in clinical trials in Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico in 2019 (together representing 70 percent of the clinical trials in Latin America).
Colombia and Chile received an additional 20 percent of clinical trials, and the remaining 10 percent were in Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, and Guatemala.
In 2019 alone, the pharmaceutical industry financed almost 700 clinical studies in Latin America and has made investments of more than $1 billion in the same year.
In 2020, there were 31 medical device trials in Latin America – an explosive 138 percent increase from 17 in 2017!
In addition, GlobalData shows that now about 1 percent of the global medical device clinical trials happen in Latin America.