RIYADH: Clinical trials in Saudi Arabia could speed up the adoption of new drugs locally, a pharmaceutical executive has told Arab News.
“Clinical trials have two very big benefits for the Kingdom. Firstly, they provide data in the long run with respect to safety and efficacy, catered specifically to the Saudi population. Secondly, they impact local investment and build healthcare capabilities,” Managing Director of Eli Lilly Dimitri Livadas said..
Lividas further explained that the clinical trial phase of any new treatment is crucial as it represents the stage between the adoption or rejection of a drug. Working with the Ministry of Health and with a presence in the Kingdom for 42 years, the pharmaceutical company began research trials in the country in 2016, consisting of five pre-marketing activities and three monitoring studies for post-marketing.
Lividas added that the trials are being led locally as an essential means to verify the safety and effectiveness of a new drug before it is put to the market and introduced to patients. The majority of these are focused on diabetes, oncology, immunology, and osteoporosis.
“We genuinely believe that our future is here in Saudi Arabia. We continue to make great progress in having a commercial organization in the Kingdom that is fully staffed by Saudi nationals,” said Lividas.
As a biopharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly has a major role to play during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. It recently announced partnership with AbCellera to develop a treatment for the virus and aims to enter into clinical trials this year.
“I salute the Saudi authorities for their strong measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. I think it is an example to the world on how to do this. I would like to also express my gratitude toward all healthcare professionals who are currently on the frontlines, risking their own health to help others," Lividas said.