20 years of clinical trial globalisation - interactive feature

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags United states Europe

 In an exclusive feature combining interactive maps with written analysis Outsourcing-Pharma explores the spread of FDA registered investigators beyond the US’ border over the past 20 years.

Using the database of clinical trial investigators registered by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) we have produced three maps, spanning from 1987 to 2007, detailing the number of clinicians approved by the agency in each country.

Moving your mouse over a region will bring up the name of the country and the number of investigators registered there. The darker regions of the map signify higher numbers of investigators.

Detailed in the first map is the number of investigators registered with the FDA in the 12 months starting April 1987. Unsurprisingly the US dominates the scene, with over 8,000 more approved clinicians than Canada, which trails in second place with 128 registered investigators.

The majority of the investigators beyond North America are located in Western Europe, lead by the United Kingdom with 30 approved clinicians. In addition there are also a small number of investigators registered in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Moving forward a decade the most striking thing is the rise of investigators in Asia and the old Soviet Bloc, which since the fall of communism has risen as an attractive site for clinical trials.

Although there are still relatively few investigators in these regions, with North America dominating again, the map shows the start of the shift towards these emerging markets.

Latin America also underwent growth over the decade, with Brazil, Mexico and Argentina growing from having a few investigators in 1987 to over 60 each a decade later.

By 2007 the map has filled out significantly, with many more nations in Latin America, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Africa having trial investigators registered with the FDA.

In addition the number of investigators in key countries, such as Russia, India and Argentina, soared in the decade spanning 1997 to 2007. This puts them on a par with countries in Western Europe but still well short of the US, which grew from 8,760 in the first map to 14,474 in 2007.

When the data was collated from the FDA’s website it had not been updated beyond April 2008.

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