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Clinical research: Austria way above the EU average

(Vienna 15th May 2012) Clinical research in Austria has grown greatly in stature in an international comparison over recent years: the importance of scientific works from Austria has grown constantly since the 1980s and in 2012 reached an international zenith that is way above the EU average. These are the gratifying findings of an analysis by the science website "Science Watch".

“The Medical University of Vienna plays an important role in clinical research in Austria, with a third of all of the country’s clinical research projects being run at the Medical University in Vienna,” says Johannes Pleiner-Duxneuner, Head of the Coordination Centre for Clinical Studies at the Medical University of Vienna on the occasion of the International Day of Clinical Research, being held from the 18th to the 20th of May 2012 and which is this year inspired by the motto "Research for Children". The number of citations of publications from Austria has more than doubled between 2005 and 2010 and was also at high level at the end of 2011, giving Austria a leading top position internationally.

The problem of acceptance: Austria trails behind 
“However, despite these successful publications, there remains an acceptance problem for research in general and clinical research in particular," analyses Pleiner-Duxneuner. “In an international comparison, Austria unfortunately trails behind in this field, according to surveys. People continue to associate taking part in clinical studies with the idea of being a guinea pig. This no longer reflects reality," stresses Pleiner-Duxneuner.

When it comes to research and studies involving children in particular, negative public opinion is particularly marked, say the MedUni Vienna scientists. “In fact, however, patients are very well cared for in studies because the legal requirements are extremely strict and effective and every study is monitored by an independent ethics committee.” Generally speaking, clinical research involving children is extremely important, “since we know that not every drug is licensed for children and that children, due to their immature metabolic systems, cannot be treated as ‘little adults'.”

Service: International Day of Clinical Research 2012
The International Day of Clinical Research 2012 is being held from Friday, 18th May to Sunday, 20th May at the Campus of the old Vienna General Hospital (Courtyard 2, Spitalgasse 2, 1090 Vienna). In Vienna, the event is being organised by the Coordination Centre for Clinical Studies (KKS). A full list of programme events can be found here: On Saturday (19 May), visitors will be able to experience numerous hands-on activities, including some suitable for children, that will offer a glimpse behind the scenes of clinical research.