Costa Rica Seeks to Approve Biomedical Research Despite Controversy

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The project to support research in humans in Costa Rica took a step this week by receiving a positive first vote in Congress, but still faces opposition from various sectors who believe that there are insufficient controls.

    This project called “Regulating Biomedical Research” which is promoted by the government, is to reactivate clinical trials in humans to develop drugs, vaccines and medical devices.

    The president of the Costa Rican Institute of Clinical Research (ICIC), Guillermo Rodríguez, says that this legislation is “a great achievement” for Costa Rica to regain prominence in the field of medical research.

    “During this time away, we lost the lead in research in Latin America. Went from being a leader, to be the only one that was forbidden to investigate,” Rodriguez said.

    According to the ICIC, following the ban on biomedical research, 200 jobs were lost and 196 research projects were canceled or could not be started.

    “Without human research we would not have vaccines, drugs or surgical devices to treat conditions. Life expectancy increased in humans 15 years thanks to the discoveries and advances in clinical research over the past 50 years,” said Rodriguez.

    The Costa Rican government supports the bill because it believes that it enhance scientific and business growth. However, political opposition groups presented a request to the Constitutional Court, saying that the law does not have sufficient controls on tests and contains ethical lapses.

    The Citizens Action Party deputy, María Eugenia Venegas, has been one of the opponents of the issue, and has told local media that the law is tailored to the interests of the pharmaceutical industry.

    According to ICIC before the ban in Costa Rica about 200 clinical trials were developed, which led to the creation of 25 drugs to treat diseases such as asthma, hypertension, cancer, diabetes and HIV. (EFE)

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose Costa Rica

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