Melissa Rosales, Director General of RM Pharma, spoke to Mexico Health Review on the possibilities Mexico has for clinical research.
Q: Last year, you said that you would open new offices in Queretaro. Where does that project stand and what impact will it have on operations?
A: The project is still in construction. However, these new offices will begin operating in 2019 and will operate the same way as our headquarters, with a research and medical care department. We believe that this represents an opportunity to attract more clinical research projects to RM Pharma and will also increase our ability to provide broader coverage in Mexico.
Q: In what areas should Mexico improve in terms of internal regulation to facilitate the development of clinical trials?
A: The government is open to listening to the clinical research industry, which is greatly increasing the opportunities available for the sector. RM Pharma participates as one of the first companies in the pilot program of digital regulation for clinical research. Other government initiatives are also boosting public-private participation, which we believe will improve the country’s performance in clinical research.
Q: What recommendations would RM Pharma make to the health sector to encourage the training of researchers?
A: The inclusion of clinical research as an optional or mandatory class at universities and colleges is key to promoting the development of clinical research in Mexico. We need medical students to embrace research. Educational programming should also include opportunities to work in pharmaceutical clinical research and basic research. If students leave university with knowledge about clinical research and its basic elements, when they enter the industry they will be competitive professionals.
Q: What are the main obstacles that Mexico faces when training researchers in high-level clinical studies? How does RM Pharma get the best talent?
A: Clinical research companies must invest a great deal to prepare doctors. The availability of health researchers is not enough; people who want to be part of this sector must be trained as specialists. RM Pharma is committed to building the best talent and training our staff so they have a broad base of knowledge, from basic requirements to highly specialized procedures. All those who come to work at RM Pharma go through a process of training in clinical research, but also in administrative and management tasks.
Our professionals have experience beyond the medical field and are certified in laboratory practices, sampling and other skills. We make sure that we always have highly qualified people working for us.
Q: What trends does RM Pharma see for the development of clinical studies? How is Mexico prepared to face these trends?
A: The trend at the moment is oncology but RM Pharma is not ready to address this development, which requires specialized hospitals. The oncological clinical research in RM Pharma could be conducted in palliatives and other similar solutions in oncology patients. Another trend is chronic degenerative diseases.
Q: Why is RM Pharma the ideal choice for pharmaceutical companies or CROs?
A: RM Pharma is both a clinical research site and a CRO so we can provide experience-based services that also offer high-quality and personalized attention. We are focused on conducting clinical research, but we also develop research protocols and statistics and provide regulatory assistance.
Q: What are the three main goals that RM Pharma hopes to meet in 2018?
A: We want to increase the number of active protocols and to develop more services for the national industry as a CRO. We want to recruit and train more doctors in clinical research to be more competitive in the segment. We want to grow our portfolio of specialists to cover the five new projects that are coming next year: asthma, psoriasis, osteoporosis in children, pain in dental studies and gonorrhea.