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Fast Facts

The Philippines is the world’s 12th most populous country, with a growing, newly industrialized economy. The capital Manila, home to 11.5 million people, has the highest population density of any city worldwide. 

  • Multiethnic population spread across 7,107 islands
  • English is an official language and widely spoken
  • Internationally trained doctors and medical personnel.

Health Trends

Healthcare in the Philippines is largely privatized and ranges from excellent (in wealthy city areas) to non-existent in many isolated rural areas. Many areas lack access to pharmaceuticals. Because of this, communicable diseases are common.

High prevalence diseases include:

  • Heart disease
  • Diarrhea
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Influenza
  • Tuberculosis.

Clinical Trial Landscape

Despite the disparity in health care, there are over 100 hospitals across the Philippines with substantial clinical trials experience. In fact, of the 10 countries in Southeast Asia, The Philippines ranks third in terms of the number of clinical trials, with an annual growth rate of 30.9%. 

Clinical trials are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration Philippines (FDA), Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) as well as the Hospitals’ IEC/IRBs.

The average timeline for regulatory and IRB approval is ~4-6 months.

Market Snapshot

107 million people

48.8% reside in urban centers

95.8% literacy rate

Philippines population age breakdown for pharma companies thinking of using a clinical research organization
  • Novotech opened its first Philippines contract research organization (CRO) office in 2013

Why choose the Philippines for clinical research?

There are many compelling reasons to consider contract research organizations in the Philippines for your clinical research:

  • Cost-effective infrastructure
  • Concentrated patient population
  • Regulatory and Ethics submission in English, and in parallel process
  • Transparent review timelines between IRB and the FDA Philippines
  • High standards of GCP
  • Good IT infrastructure and knowledge of IT.


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