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India is becoming a hub for clinical research; the demand for
professionals in this field is growing rapidly. Clinical research
business in India will be worth $1 billion by 2010. Thus, there will
soon be a massive demand for clinical research professionals, making it
an interesting career option with massive growth potential.
Clinical research is all set to become the next big thing in India. A large population with a substantial workforce and cost benefits influence multinationals to set up research facilities here. Besides due to the prevalence of a large variety
of diseases, including widespread cases of cancer and diabetes India is viewed the world over as the ideal location for clinical research trials for the pharmaceutical industry.
What is Clinical Research?.
A clinical research is a scientific study of the effects, risks,
efficacy and benefits of a medicinal product. These are carried out
prior to the release of the medicine in the market. These trials are
undertaken at various stages and studies are conducted after the launch
of a new product to monitor safety and side effects during large-scale
use. Clinical trials are conducted by pharmaceutical companies or
contract research organisations (CRO's) on their behalf. It is this
sector that is driving the growth in clinical research in India.
So, what does one need to become a part of this rapidly growing industry?
A B. Sc./ M.Sc., degree is a must to enter this field. Ideally the
industry is looking for science graduates from pharmacy, medicine, life
science and Bioscience. Within bioscience too there are various other
fields such as botany, zoology, biochemistry and genetics. Anybody who
fulfils these criteria can join the industry.
Individuals with prior work experience of 2-3 years are preferred, but like the IT/BPO industry, there is a dearth of trained professionals here too. Thus, with the right qualifications finding a job in clinical research should not be a problem.
- Clinical Research branches off into various categories at the entry level.
- The most common entry-level position is that of a Clinical Research Associate (CRA). The role of a CRA is varied
- They are key participants in the design, implementation and monitoring of clinical trials
- They shoulder the responsibility of planning and implementing all activities required to conduct and monitor complex clinical trials and ensure that Good Clinical Practices are followed.
- They assist in preparation of presentations and manuscripts of scientific meetings and technical journals and attend scientific/professional meetings and training courses as appropriate.
There are various growth opportunities along the way for those
willing to learn. For those interested in serious research work, a PhD
is the ideal solution. There are post graduate degrees and diploma's
offered by various colleges which come in handy to enhance one's career
prospects. Specialization in branches of pharmacy, life sciences,
biochemistry will be useful.
Studying further will also help one in bettering their current job profile. For instance doing a masters will enhance the job prospects of a CRA to become a Project Manager. Similarly a PhD in a related discipline is needed to become a Medical Director.
According to industry reports, India is the second largest pharmaceutical market in Asia growing by more than nine per cent annually. According to a report, there are more than 50,000 jobs in clinical research in India . Lack of experience is no longer a hindrance, and companies are hiring from other streams too. With the influx of multinationals setting up research facilities here, the industry is poised to grow exponentially.