Everyone who participates in clinical trials is a partner: Professor Gagandeep Kang

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on August 23, 2019 Published on August 23, 2019

Professor Gagandeep Kang. File photo   -  File photo

Says should be deemed champions of the cause

Professor Gagandeep Kang, Executive Director, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) said that the very purpose of clinical research is to improve health. “Hence, everyone who participates in clinical trials is a partner and should be deemed as champions of the cause,”she said.

She was delivering the keynote address on ‘Trials and Tribulations: Clinical Research in India’, on Day 1 of the XIV International Conference on Public Policy and Management, organised by the Centre for Public Policy (CPP) at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIM-B).

Professor Kang said, “Without their trust, the advancement of both clinical science and medical practice would falter.”

She went on to further say that such trials need to be carried out responsibly and ethically. She said they should be based on a relationship of trust with the participants - where total understanding is a given, and the findings are shared with the communities. “There are regulatory bodies to raise the standard of clinical research and curb unethical practices. But although we have very good basic biology institutes, investment is still not to the level that it should be,” she said.

Prof Kang, who is an Infosys Prize Winner in Life Sciences, was the first Indian woman to be elected to the Fellow of Royal Society in 2019.

‘Need to build trust and accountability’

Prof Kang said that the factors that have worked so far in this domain are:

1. Identification of needs in public health research

2. Partners who provided appropriate training

3. Targeted and monitored mentoring, commitment to the communities that professionals work in as well as commitment to quality

4. Building multidisciplinary research groups of young faculty, availability of academic positions and funding

5. Working in collaboration with government and like-minded institutions

6. More investment in R&D

7. New initiatives in public health.

She said that lack of value systems, sclerotic bureaucracy, hierarchy, restrictive polies and lack of institutional support were some of the challenges of clinical research.

“Going forward, we need to focus on setting priorities, looking at evaluating effectiveness, access, and healthcare management. As academicians, we need to help the Government in setting priorities, carry research, translate results into practice in India, and extend and reinforce research and training,” she said.

Prof Kang added, “High quality clinical research is being and can be done in India. Policies can be changed with planning and evidence accumulation”.

Published on August 23, 2019
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