There are many countries in South America that are growing in popularity as ideal areas for medical companies to conduct clinical trials. The reason for the increasing demand is due to a variety of factors, ranging from higher patient retention rates to the interesting disease profile of populations in the region.

South America also benefits from having vast populations, making them an exceptional source of patients that can be recruited to participate in trials. With these attractive benefits in mind, here are a few of the key clinical research sites in South America that pharmaceutical companies around the world are choosing to carry out their studies in.

Some of the major countries that are popular for clinical research trials are Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, all ideal due to their large and dense urban populations. Pharmaceutical companies choosing to outsource their clinical trials to sites in South America may choose either one of these countries or several of them in a multi-centred approach.

Up-and-coming countries that are proving in demand for clinical research trials are other Latin American nations Ecuador, Peru and Chile. These areas are of increasing interest as they offer large populations of otherwise trial-naïve participants, which can mean both a higher recruitment and retention rate.

One of the other key factors that makes South America such a popular place to conduct clinical trials is the fact that the entire region only speaks two first languages: Spanish and Portuguese. This means that it is very simple to effectively run a recruitment and research campaign that is applicable to all nations with minimal cost and administrative difficulty caused by language barriers.

Often, pharmaceutical companies will often take this one step further and only recruit from countries that speak one language – for example, Spanish – choosing a multi-centred approach featuring sites in South America in countries like Ecuador, Mexico, Argentina and Peru, for example.

The most productive sites in South America are found in cities across the region. The continent is quite distinct in the fact it boasts the extremely large urban populations not found in regions such as Europe, for example, whose urban areas fail to offer the same sheer number of potential participants as in Latin America.

Cities and towns are generally extremely populated with little suburban life, with only a few hospitals available to treat patients. This is another reason why clinical trial sites in South America flourish, as they offer a genuine form of alternative treatment for burgeoning city populations.

The area is also becoming an increasingly viable option for trials as many countries are becoming even easier to establish sites in. South America in general offers a mixed bag of regulatory requirements for carrying out clinical trials. Governments in countries such as Argentina and Brazil can take several months to approve clinical trials, although steps are being taken to improve this.

Rapidly-developing nations such as Ecuador and Peru are generally a lot quicker to approve medical studies, with less lengthy wait times than Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. Due to the fact that there are an increasing number of high quality sites and quick approval times, clinical research in these smaller countries is rapidly expanding.

These are some of the key areas for clinical research sites in South America. The more-established countries of Argentina, Brazil and Mexico still hold immense value for pharmaceutical companies looking to carry out trials of their drugs; that said, there are some new players on the scene of interest to pharmaceutical companies around the globe.

The less-established countries of Ecuador, Peru and Chile offer more trial-naïve populations, fast approval times and good quality sites, making them an increasingly attractive option for medical studies. In all cases, urban areas throughout the entire region offer a huge number of benefits to both the clinical research and the companies commissioning it.


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