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India is becoming an increasingly appealing location for undertaking clinical trials. A trial in India costs half as much as in the United States, and India has a high prevalence of diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, that predominantly affect the developed world.

But India's future as a centre for 'outsourced' clinical trials could be in jeopardy, reports T. V. Padma in Nature. Despite its advanced hospitals, the country is struggling to find enough trained staff to run the clinical trials and lacks a central database to track them once they are underway.

Most worryingly of all, says T. V. Padma, are several recent cases where researchers did not comply with ethics regulations. Trial participants were, without their knowledge, given drugs that had not been approved by the health ministry or been tested adequately in animals.

If the government fulfils its promise to tighten regulations, she writes, India could benefit greatly not just from the revenue generated by these trials, but also from the new drugs being tested in its population.

Link to full article in Nature