Clinical Research and Health care management

India is fast becoming the global hub of clinical research, opening up newer avenues for science graduates in this field. Here is a look at what it takes to enter into this promising sector.

Technically speaking clinical research is a systematic study of the effects, risks, efficacy and benefits of a new drug or medicine that is about to enter a market. And these studies are conducted at various stages, both prior to the launch of the drug in the market and after its launch to monitor its safety and the possible side effects of it. And, in India, experts say that the clinical research sector is on a high growth path, with huge spends coming in from developed countries. According to an estimation study by McKinsey, European and US pharmaceutical companies will spend US $1.5 bn per year on clinical trails in India by the year 2010.

Many factors make India a popular destination for clinical research. Well trained medical communities that meet the global standards, huge patient base, large and fast growing private healthcare sector, state-of-the-art hospital facilities, lower costs for conducting trials, diversity in gene pool etc are few factors favoring clinical research.

According to experts, there are many opportunities waiting to be explored in this field. Important clinical research outsourcing works happening in India are in the field of regulatory services, pre-clinical services, laboratory services, biometric services, drug interaction, proof of concept, conducting phase II – IV clinical trials on new medical interventions in various therapeutic areas etc.

So what are the essential requirements to get into this growing sector? A graduate in science or a medical professional can enter into clinical research. A certificate or diploma in clinical research from any recognized institute can add more values. A good knowledge about clinical practices and regulatory issues and good management and communication skills are also important for a clinical research professional.

Lack of experience is not a barrier to seek a career in this sector as many organizations absorb freshers and provide them on the job training to make them competent enough.

A certificate or diploma in clinical research from any recognized institute can add more value for a science graduate.

In terms of the growth rate, the healthcare industry in India is moving ahead neck to neck with the pharmaceutical industry and the software industry. Much has been said and one in the healthcare sector for bringing about improvement. Till date, approximately 12% of the scope offered by the healthcare industry in India has been tapped. The health acre industry in India is reckoned to be the engine of the economy in the years to come. Growing at an enviable rate of 15% every year, the healthcare industry in India is estimated to be a $40 million by 2012.

Career that can open up for a person trained in Healthcare Management

It is not only hospitals which require management professionals. A whole lot of specializes exist in the following sectors:

1) lifestyle clinics
2) emergency medicine units
3) pharmaceutical firms
4) hospital information systems
5) e-health ventures
6) Credit rating firms
7) NGOs and Health Insurance now required trained manpower
8) Specialized in hospital administration

The industry too is upbeat with the availability of efficient manpower to handle managerial tasks in healthcare services.

Grading of healthcare institutions is another area with lot of excitement and challenges for healthcare managers and they ca learn newer concepts here. Rating agencies like CRISIL, and ICRA have absorbed many freshers in the recent past as healthcare consultants. Doctors and administrators / managers form a crucial link in Third Party Administrative (TPA) operations. They can be assigned tasks like gate keeping functions, claim audit technical evaluations, claim investigations etc. To bridge the huge demand supply gap in the professional management segment, experts feel that more teaching facilities should be set up.