A Clinical Research Assistant is responsible for initiating and monitoring the progress of a clinical trial. Good CRSs are critical to successful medical experiments. They bear the responsibility of ensuring that study protocols and Good Clinical Practices are adhered to, data collected during the research is scientifically complete, and that human study subjects are well taken care of during and after research. In short, they make sure that medications, medicinal devices, diagnostic products, and treatments being developed for human use are safe and effective while taking care of human subjects as well.
India is one of the fastest growing destinations for Clinical Research all over the world. It is believed that by 2010, the industry in India will grow to an unprecedented size of Rs 5,000 corers! The large population size of India is seen as a potential patient pool waiting to be recruited for clinical trials at much cheaper prices than in other developed countries. More than 5 lakh trained doctors, medical professionals and life science specialists in India with an ability to speak and communicated in English is also attracting investments from Clinical Research Industry to the country. In such a scenario, it does not come as a surprise that analysts project increase of Clinical Studies Expenditure in India to be 30% annually. In the next five years, India will need as many as 50,000 trained professionals in the field, which is believed to be one-fifth of the projection at the global level.
Though salaries offered by organizations vary, a starter in clinical trial and research field can expect about Rs 15,000 to Rs 40,000 per month, which is pretty good when you consider what graduates usually get after a Bachelors or Masters in Science. State of the art infrastructure, more than 15,000 hospitals, trained manpower and lower costs of conducting trials in India has made it one of the favorite sites for pharmaceutical companies and research organizations who need to study medicines in controlled environments, before launching them in the market on a large scale as per government stipulations. If you want to use the opportunity and make a career as a CRA, you can opt for training courses, diploma and certificate programs available at various institutes at the local level.
Training to be a Clinical Research Assistant includes developing purpose, methodology, and protocols of a trial to designing Case Record Forms used for data collection, communicating and negotiating with regulatory authorities, liasioning up with doctors and scientists for the trials, monitor and verify data at all stages, make reports that are scientifically complete with clinical notes and archiving all the documentation and correspondence. Whether you are looking forward to managerial positions, dealing with medical and regulatory affairs, Pharmacovigilance, Clinical Data Management, or deal exclusively with Clinical Operations, you can find specific six month or one year courses for various fields and career options. A good institute offers training in all these areas and more. Look for an institute that includes practical hands-on training in its training program and offers job assistance programs to get value for your money.