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      Now jobs come with clinical precision


      Clinical research is emerging as an attractive career option, as more research flocks into the country. And drug companies and contract research organisations (CRO) are vying with each other to recruit researchers, monitors, investigators and doctors with any knowledge of clinical research, say representatives involved with the segment.Students of pharmacy, life-sciences and even doctors are looking at clinical research as a career option, as companies are recruiting even trainees at salaries of about Rs 2.5 lakh per annum. And this is just the beginning, says Vijay Moza, a co-promoter of the Institute of Clinical Research (India) (ICRI).

      The scramble to corner clinical researchers increases as industry representatives fear a shortage of good scientific hands in the country, as the volume of research increases. Besides clinical research associates (CRA), monitors, co-investigators and data-co-ordinators, there is a big demand for good doctors, says Moza.

      Moza says India is expected to corner business worth about $200 million from clinical research by 2007. Clinical research is touted to fetch India business worth $1.5 billion by 2010.

      There are about 300 domestic companies and 100 multinationals doing clinical trials in India, he says.

      The new patent regime that honours product patents and intellectual property has instilled confidence in major drugs companies, says Moza. So, more clinical research will come India's way.

      ICRI trains about 1,000 students, including 200 doctors at its institutes in Mumbai and Bangalore, among other places, he says. It runs two two-year courses: an M.Sc in clinical research and a similar course with an MBA, for a fee of about Rs 2.5 lakh.

      It also runs a post-graduate diploma for one year on clinical research for professionals, at a fee of Rs 1.25 lakh.An opportunity also lies overseas, says Moza, with the US facing a shortage of about 2,000 researchers. He hopes to start an institute in the US and other parts of Asia to train people in clinical research.

      Dr Arun Bhatt, President of ClinInvent Research Pvt Ltd, says that, while clinical research is an attractive career opportunity, it is still in its infancy in India. ClinInvent is a CRO with the Purnendu Chatterjee Group.

      "Not everyone will be writing research protocols or handling the medical part of research. Most people become monitors or CRAs where they monitor clinical trials at hospitals and their adherence to protocols. That will require a lot more experience," he says

      November 28, 2005


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