Facing the Trial of Internationalizing Clinical Trials to Developing Countries: With Some Evidence from Mexico

Fernando Santiago-Rodriguez


In pursue of innovation, developing countries play an increasingly relevant role for multinational pharmaceutical firms. Driven partly by cost considerations but also by some host country-specific scientific and technological factors, global drug companies increasingly relocate part of their drug development activities to those countries. In particular, expansion of clinical trials performed in some of the more advanced developing countries is notable over the last years. This paper critically addresses some of these issues with particular reference to Mexico. The latter case equally illustrates some challenges developing countries face to accommodate and govern local performance of clinical trials according to strict internationally accepted regulatory and ethical principles.

JEL Codes: 032; I18; F23; L65

Key words: Internationalization of R&D, Governance of clinical trials, Developing countries, Mexico

UNU-MERIT Working Papers ISSN 1871-9872