Government should invest in clinical trials

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The government should invest each year a minimum of 10 to 15 million euros in publicly funded clinical trial according to the Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre (KCE). Not all health care problems are addressed by the pharmaceutical industry. 

Pharmaceutical companies rarely compare a drug with another type of treatment. Think for example of the comparison between the effect of antidepressants and psychotherapy. Companies must demonstrate that their new product is safe and effective, but actually that is not always sufficient. One of the basic questions is also whether it works better than existing treatments. 

Therefore, the KCE believes that the government also needs to invest in clinical studies, as is already happening in several other countries. This is permissible, provided that the study subjects are carefully selected and that a solid professional infrastructure is available. Sufficient attention should be given to the publication and application of the results for decision-making concerning reimbursement in daily practice.  According to Dr. Frank Hulstaert, researcher at the KCE specializing in clinical trials, there should be more international cooperation. For instance, this would be very beneficial for studies on rare diseases.

(Source: De Standaard)