Research environment Finland
The international competition for pharmaceutical trials is fierce, and therefore Finland needs to maintain a well-working and encouraging research ecosystem.
For a long time, Finland has been an outstanding place for pharmaceutical research. We have many competitive edges but still the numbers of trials made here have been decreasing.
Finland’s international competitiveness in pharmaceutical research has mainly been based on our digitalised health registers which are excellent by international standards. This means that data is smoothly available.
Both our experts' competence and the healthcare system are of top-notch level. Patients also have a positive attitude to pharmaceutical trials and remain committed when they decide to participate in the trials.
In the future, it will be particularly important to promote research through enabling legislation and smooth regulatory processes. In preparation for a long time, the bill on secondary use social welfare and health data must be rapidly implemented and the operation of the licensing authority under the Institute of Health and Welfare THL must start promptly.
The licensing practices related to research have not been straightforward and the interpretations of the regulations have varied from authority to authority. This has made the work of the researcher more difficult, also impacting Finland’s attractiveness as a research environment. Through the new Act and operation of the new authority, the research licensing processes will become less ambiguous, more uniform and smoother.
From the perspective of Finnish competitiveness, it is also important that the healthcare system provides opportunities for research. Physicians should have enough time and interest in research and have access to patients that are suited for the projects. When healthcare resources are scarce, physicians tend to have little possibilities to engage in research when they are also involved in patient work.
Already during their basic training, physicians should be encouraged to embark on a research career, along with the patient work. It is of particular importance to inspire young physicians to get involved in research. This calls for long-term funding and time to dedicate to research, combined with appreciation that will promote the researchers' career paths.