May 20, 2023: International Clinical Trials Day

SFEE: Clinical Trials are always a great investment opportunity as well as the biggest benefit for Greek patients


SFEE Press Release


Athens, May 19th, 2023. – On the occasion of the International Clinical Trials Day (May 20), the Hellenic Association of Pharmaceutical Companies (SfEE) stresses, once again, the great role of Clinical Research in the protection and promotion of Public Health. Every treatment we currently have at hand is the product of clinical studies, which led to new clinical therapies, as well as new information on the prevention, diagnosis and deeper understanding of a disease. This year’s global message is to make clinical studies more accessible to patients and honour the professionals of clinical research all over the world.

SfEE has always struggled, in the most dynamic way, for the development of Clinical Research in Greece, since our country lags behind in the number of clinical studies, when compared with other European countries of similar size. More than €39bil are invested annually in Europe for clinical trials, of which Greece unfortunately absorbs a mere €100mil!

The Greek State has taken positive steps in the last years towards the right direction, such as the Law on “investment clawback”, currently operating under the Recovery & Resilience Fund (RRF). The sum that can be absorbed in investments is €250mil and another €150mil was recently added. Nevertheless, what has been proven so far is that this “investment clawback” is most attractive for production expenses, but not for Clinical Trials. An equally attractive development is the implementation of the new European Regulation 536/2014 (EU-CTR) on clinical trials, with the parallel operation onset of its main element, i.e. the CTIS (Clinical Trial Information System).

Another positive step is deemed to be the establishment of a Workgroup for the development of Clinical Trials & Biomedical Research in the Ministry of Health, with the participation of all involved stakeholders; this workgroup has contributed in the adoption of Law 5041/2023 (Official Gazette A’ 87/08.04.2023) on the possibility of establishing an Independent Department for Clinical Trials in hospitals of the country (in particular, hospitals of a 200+-bed capacity, pertaining to the National Health System / NHS).

The SFEE General Manager, Mr. Michael Himonas, pointed out: “Positive steps were taken for the attraction of Clinical Trials in our country; nevertheless there is huge room for improvement, since the specific sector is extremely competitive. This extremely productive and promising sector of Clinical Research should emerge as one of the top priorities of Health Policy, especially because it will be mostly beneficial to Greek patients. Offering the appropriate incentives can serve as a catalyst in attracting substantial investment funds for Clinical Studies in Greece. The benefits are multiple, primarily for patients participating in these trials, who enjoy free access to new treatments and lab tests, and an on-going high-caliber personalized medical monitoring, as well as for the participating researchers and health structures and the economy of the country.”