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New Report: Clinical Research Drives Health Forward

Over the past several decades, countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have made advances to their health systems and have increased patient access to health care, ultimately improving the health status of their populations. Despite these efforts, the region continues to face substantial and diverse health challenges. In part, these may be due to limited investment in clinical trials and weak intellectual property protection policies.

A new Health Forward analysis shows increased investment in clinical trials – one of the first steps in the lifecycle of medicine – can help expedite clinical development for new treatments. In addition to accelerating the drug development process, clinical trials can foster economic growth and advance medical research infrastructure, helping physicians and scientists in the region gain the expertise necessary to become leaders in their fields.

Currently, the intensity of clinical research throughout the MENA region lags behind emerging global leaders. Singapore, for example, conducted more than 388 clinical trials per million population between 2000 and 2017. In comparison, Lebanon – a leader in clinical trials in MENA – conducted just over 77 clinical trials per million population in the same timeframe. And, although the MENA region has the fastest growing incidence of cancer in the world, the number of clinical trials on oncological medicines in several countries remains low.

Connections can be drawn between the limited biopharmaceutical innovation in the MENA region and the lack of pro-innovation policies. Without the protections of strong, modern intellectual property policies, researchers may not have the ability to explore new areas of medical innovation or discover innovative treatments. Conversely, countries with effective IP protection and enforcement see higher levels of clinical research, greater partnership with biopharmaceutical companies and improved access to medicines.

In order to develop new treatments, provide greater access to life-saving treatments and improve patient health outcomes, countries in the MENA region should both look to make greater investments in clinical research and enforce effective intellectual property protections.


Recognizing World IP Day Across the Middle East and North Africa

With an expanding labor force and burgeoning economic opportunities, it’s important for leaders in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to embrace robust approaches to intellectual property (IP) that encourage investment in innovation. This World IP Day, we explore the theme “Women and IP: Accelerating Innovation and Creativity,” highlighting the essential role of IP

Global Investments in Science and Innovation were Resilient during COVID-19

A new report, Global Innovation Index 2022, from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) indicates that research and development (R&D) investments thrived at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and continued to boom in 2021. This spike in innovation occurred despite the global recession and economic lockdowns in many countries, pointing to the importance of innovation for pandemic solutions and recovery.

Opportunities for Progress

Explore policy-related opportunities for governments, health officials and companies operating in the MENA health sector.

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