Stakeholders in health research convened and signed the Dasmarinas Declaration on Harmonization of Clinical Trials towards Good Clinical Practices (GCP) – enabled Philippines on 24 November 2011 at the De la Salle Angelo King Medical Research Center, Dasmarinas City, Cavite.
The meeting discussed issues, challenges, best practices and lessons learned on clinical trials and GCP in the Philippines. The meeting aimed to develop a consensus guideline for a world-class model on ethical, GCP-compliant clinical trials in the country.
Clinical trials are research studies involving human volunteers which are undertaken to determine the effectiveness of a device, drug, treatment or diagnostic method. According to Dr. Jaime Montoya, Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST), clinical trials are traditionally conducted in wealthy countries like North America and Western Europe. However, there is a shifting trend from Europe to Latin America and Asia. “That is why we need to capacitate ourselves in capturing the demand for clinical trials worldwide.”
In his presentation, Dr. Montoya mentioned that the country has very low investment in terms of product R&D because of weak coordination among researchers, innovators, private and public sectors.
This statement was backed-up by a study conducted by the Commission on Health Research for Development (COHRED) that only 10% of the world resources is allotted for health research for the health problems of 90% of the world’s population.
Dr. Montoya also suggested the creation of the Philippine Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (PhilCRINET). Similar to the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN), PhilCRINET would serve as coordinating body for clinical research centers and clinical trial units in the country.
The Dasmariñas declaration stated that health research institutions in the country will support public-private partnership (PPP) and share best practices and lessons learned to develop the Philippines as a world-class model and venue for ethical, GCP-compliant clinical trials. The Declaration also emphasizes the rights, safety and well-being of clinical trial participants and their communities, towards the promotion of better health of all Filipinos.
Participants of the meeting included stakeholders from the research and academic institutions, patient and public health advocacy groups, and other government organizations. The Philippine Clinical Epidemiology Network (PHILCLEN), De La Salle – Health Sciences Institute (DLS-HSI) and PCHRD-DOST spearheaded the event. (Edmon Agron/PCHRD-DOST)