Ethical Considerations of Industry-Sponsored Clinical Trials in the Arab Region

Part of the Research Ethics Forum book series (REFF, volume 5)


This paper evaluates latest geographic dynamics between 2009 and 2014 in biopharmaceutical clinical trials (BPCTs) and benchmarks accessibility to clinical trials in in the Arab region (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Algeria, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia) against other global regions (# active BPCT sites/capita). In addition, this paper introduces, to our knowledge hitherto never previously published, benchmarks of participation of countries in development of new products (BPCT global market share), relative to the target level of consumption of developed pharmaceutical products (pharmaceutical consumption market share). Our findings imply a potential scientific and ethical challenge: under-representation of patients from Arab region in the development of novel pharmaceutical products relative to the consumption of the developed products. We will discuss the ethical implications for regions with low participation in development of new products and yet high consumption of developed products. We encourage that this mismatch between development and consumption of new drugs be addressed by governments, medical institutions and patient organizations in the Arab region, as well as biopharmaceutical companies planning to launch new products in these markets.


Clinical trials Pharmaceutical development Pharmaceutical consumption Market share 



Customized clinical trial analytics used in this paper were prepared and provided as a courtesy of LongTaal Institute (


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LongTaal, Clinical Trial AnalyticsBratislavaSlovakia
  2. 2.QuintilesIMSViennaAustria

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