Not enough international pharmaceutical companies choose Denmark to conduct clinical trials, according to three government ministers who have proposed several new initiatives to make the coutnry a more attractive location.
“International competition is stiff, and if we want to keep our position within clinical research and attract more research, we need to improve the conditions for working in Denmark,” the health minister, Astrid Krag (Socialistisk Folkeparti), said.
Krag, along with the business minister, Annette Vilhelmsen (Socialistisk Folkeparti), and the trade and investment minister, Pia Olsen Dyhr (Socialistisk Folkeparti), firstly want to make it easier for companies to register clinical trials that use human test subjects.
Any company wanting to conduct a trial in Denmark formerly had to apply to both the health agency, Sundhedsstyrelsen, and the health research ethics board, Videnskabs Etiske Komiteer. But now an application need only be sent to one place, which will then forward it onto the relevant authorities.
The ministers have also proposed creating an online platform, not too dissimilar to a dating website, where companies can recruit test subjects through targeted advertisements.
Denmark is already known as a hub for pharmaceutical companies due to the presence of major firms such as Novo Nordisk and Lundbeck.
The government, however, wants to attract more medical firms, and last year it published a report, ‘Start with Denmark – The heart of life sciences for research and business’, to highlight the potential of operating out of Denmark.
“Danes would benefit if more investors are attracted to Denmark,” Krag said. “It would create both growth and jobs as well providing patients with better treatment options.”
Christian Gluud, the head of the Copenhagen Trial Unit at Rigshospital, welcomed the government’s initiatives.
“Large pharmaceutical companies avoid Denmark because they think it is too expensive to recruit researchers and administrative staff for trials,” Gluud said. “The new initiatives will at least make the administrative side easier. It might also create more awareness about the Danish health and research sector, which are both of a high quality, and in doing so attract more foreign investment generally.”
According to pharmaceutical producers’ assocition Lægemiddelindustriforening, over 20,000 people in Denmark participate in medical trials every year.