|An expert speaks about learnings from clinical research activities and their applications at a recent conference organized in both Hà Nội and HCM City. — Photo courtesy of AstraZeneca Việt Nam|
HCM CITY — Clinical research and its applications are contributing significantly to improving healthcare at both treatment and policy levels in Việt Nam, experts say.
The benefits can be particularly seen in cardiology, nephrology and metabolic care, they add.
Conducting international clinical trials in Việt Nam helps accelerate local patients’ access to new medicines and set a foundation for local pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) of international standards, said Nguyễn Ngô Quang, deputy director of the Ministry of Health’s Department of Science and Training.
Quang said at a recent conference that clinical trials were a specialised area in medical science that ultimately determines the success of a medicine or medical intervention.
“These programmes create opportunities for us to connect with the global medical community, exchange technical knowledge and experience with experts around the world,” he said.
Đặng Việt Hùng, head of the Ministry of Health’s Health Insurance Department, said: “Data from clinical studies are an important source of evidence for the effectiveness of new medicines.”
The data, when coupled with the evidence supporting medicines’ cost-effectiveness, serve as an essential basis for health insurance policymaking, he said.
Nitin Kapoor, president for Asia Area Frontier Markets at AstraZeneca, and chairman and general director of AstraZeneca Việt Nam, said the company was proud of its contribution to comprehensive and robust development of the Vietnamese healthcare sector through clinical trials.
“Our commitment remains to be the leading investor of pharmaceutical research and development in Việt Nam to make a positive impact on the lives of local patients and the healthcare sector,” he said.
Together with its partners, AstraZeneca Việt Nam has built the CaReMe (Cardio – Renal - Metabolism) programme with the goal of raising public awareness, promoting early disease detection and improving disease management capacity of health workers.
The ultimate aim is to reduce the medical burden from this group of diseases, Kapoor said.
Nguyễn Thị Xuyên, president of Việt Nam Medical Association, said clinical trials play an increasingly important role in forming treatment recommendations and medical practice.
“The participation of Vietnamese patients in major clinical trials will provide evidence of the medicine’s efficiency and safety in the Vietnamese population, helping experts and clinicians update treatment guidelines and medical practice,” she said.
Đặng Vạn Phước, president of Việt Nam Heart Association, said cardiovascular - renal - metabolic diseases remain a global health problem.
Patients still suffer from the diseases despite recent advancements in pharmaceutical innovation and the introduction of many therapies.
“There are multiple health and economic burdens and unmet treatment needs,” he said, adding that he appreciated the investment in clinical research by pharmaceutical companies like AstraZeneca, as “these studies have successfully contributed to more optimal treatments for patients, further improving treatment effectiveness and reducing mortality significantly."
Through many years of working closely with the local Government, the Ministry of Health and medical partners, AstraZeneca's programmes such as CaReMe, Healthy Lung and Young Health, or the Partnership for Health System Sustainability and Resilience (PHSSR) have been improving the lives of millions of patients and creating positive impact on the quality of healthcare in the country, the conference heard.
The “Cardiovascular – renal - metabolic (CVRM) care in Việt Nam: A decade of clinical research and applications in review” conference, part of the CaReMe programme, was hosted by the Việt Nam Medical Association and AstraZeneca Việt Nam in both Hà Nội and HCM City.
It brought together more than 150 healthcare experts, including representatives from the Ministry of Health and medical associations, doctors, and leading specialists in clinical research. — VNS