Read “The Reality of Clinical Research in Central and Eastern Europe” by Dana Leff Niedzielska published in the May 2013 issue of Journal of Clinical Research Best Practices.
Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) can be the most productive and efficient region in the world to conduct clinical trials. However, for the inexperienced project manager, conducting a trial in this region can be a “once in a lifetime ” (not in the good way) experience.
CEE is not the U.S. or even Western Europe. Even the alphabet (Cyrillic) is different in half the region. Nevertheless, there are excellent reasons to conduct clinical trials in CEE:
Patients, Patients, Patients
The end of the Cold War proved that central planning is not an efficient way of organizing economic activity. However, old habits take a long time to break. As a result, healthcare delivery systems in much of CEE are still organized around large, specialized, state-funded treatment centers that gather patients from a wide geographic area. Private healthcare is gradually emerging, but few people can afford it and most of the best specialists are still found in the public system. As a result, large numbers of patients requiring specialist care for cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases, etc., are easy to find, along with the doctors that treat them, because they are all the same place.
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