The analysts say that an ageing population and the prevalence of cardiovascular, central nervous system (CNS), gastrointestinal and metabolism diseases has led to a boom in demand for more treatment.
But with patient populations on average much poorer than in Western countries, citizens lacking the funds and facilities for their medical care could be more “easily recruited,” leading to less delay in trials.
And with the country’s adhering to international regulatory standards such as GLP (good laboratory practices) and GCP (good clinical practices), contract research organisations (CROs) can be confident about its activities, the report said.
As a result, GBI research predicts the Argentine clinical trial market – worth $49.4m in 2010 – will be boosted by nine per cent.
“Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies will have good reasons to increasingly outsource clinical trials to Argentina in order to benefit from the cost, time and expertise benefits and also to leverage emerging countries’ compliance with international standards such as GLP and GCP,” the analysts wrote.
Getting behind the program
It seems the Government of Argentina has also sensed the potential in its clinical research sector, and in recent years has pumped a “significant” amount of money into the cause.
The study authors claim that between 2005-9 there was a one per cent uptick in spending for healthcare in general, growing from 8.5 per cent of the country’s total expenditure to 9.5 per cent, “a ratio that was high compared with most emerging countries.”
And the report, titled ‘Emerging Pharmaceutical Market in Argentina’, predicts the focus on the sector will only grow more.
“The Argentine pharmaceutical market will witness significant growth in the future, considering the growth in Government healthcare spending,” the authors added.
However, it seems that government incentives are largely focussed on local companies, rather than on helping the large multinational firms it is attracting the attention of.
“The Argentine pharmaceutical market is dominated by domestic or local pharmaceutical companies, accounting for 58% of the industry’s revenue in 2010,” the study said.
“A lack of government incentives and a slow approval process are the current problems faced by the multinational companies. If these problems are resolved then in the future the market may grow at a significant rate.”