PUTRAJAYA, May 20 — Malaysia has over 30 years of experience in clinical research and its various unique features makes it an ideal site to research new treatment, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.
Among the features were ethnic diversity in population, the non-communicable diseases, experienced medical professionals, established medical infrastructures and a strong regulatory framework, he said.
“The latest being the World Health Organisation (WHO) sponsored Solidarity Trial researching several treatments for COVID-19 infection. Malaysia is the first country in Asia to enrol patients in this trial which proves our capability,” he said at the presentation of Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) sponsored research awards in conjunction with the International Clinical Trials Day, here today.
Dr Adham said clinical trials in Malaysia were highly regulated to ensure the protection and safety of the patients as studies are required to abide to the internationally recognised standards of Good Clinical Practice.
As Malaysia moved ahead towards becoming the preferred destination for clinical research, the number of sponsored research conducted at the Health Ministry’s hospitals had also seen a healthy growth, he said.
“In 2019, a total of 162 sponsored research was reported with over 70 per cent of these studies taking place in the Health Ministry’s hospitals and health clinics.
“Most of the research are interventional trials with 66 out of 100 studies involving new treatments. A fine example is Hospital Sultan Ismail which is among the top trial sites in Malaysia for the highest growth of oncology and dermatology clinical research in 2019,” he said.
Since 2012, he said the clinical research industry had bought in a cumulative gross national income (GNI) of RM527 million in contract worth, as well as creating over 2,000 skill jobs in clinical research.
In today’s event, Dr Voon Pei Jye (medical oncologist) from Hospital Umum Sarawak received Top Recruiter Award for significant patient recruitment achievement in studies initiated in 2019.
Investigator of the Year Award presented to Dr Lily Wong Lee Lee (haematologist) from Hospital Queen Elizabeth for being principal investigator to the highest number of new sponsored research in 2019.
Hospital Sultan Ismail was recognised as the Clinical Trial Site of the Year Award for its significant growth in the number of sponsored research in 2019.