Szerszeniewska, who oversaw the EastHorn relaunch yesterday after the firm changed its name from Unimed, told Outsourcing-pharma just why the local CRO sector has grown so rapidly in recent years.
She explained that: “The success of clinical trials in Central and Eastern Europe has been a result of the underinvested health care systems and will continue as long as economies of these countries are far behind Western World.
“There are still difficulties in receiving healthcare in CEE, therefore the willingness to partake in trials and the attitude of patients is such that high recruitment and low drop out rates will continue for the foreseeable future.”
She added that: “We are beginning to see saturation in the countries with the longest experience in clinical trials like Poland, Hungary, and Czech Republic but there is still plenty of potential; particularly in the former Russian Republics and the Balkans for untapped patient resources.
“We may expect some difficulties with patient recruitment in some countries but it is mostly related to the bad press clinical trials have there. That is why it is crucial to maintain the highest ethical standards and respect to the patient’s rights while running clinical trials in CEE.”
Szerszeniewska was also confident that EastHorn will be able to compete with larger CROs operating in the CRO.
“Many research companies prefer to deal with smaller companies, with management and key decisions makers based in the place where trials are conducted as they feel that they get a more personal response and due to lower overheads better value for money.
She went on to say that that EastHorn is planning further expansion in the region as well as furthering its access to emerging CRO markets in Turkey, Africa and China.