Global cooperation in clinical research maximizes access to patients, enables resource sharing and increases the applicability of research findings. Yet academic trials are rarely multinational because they are beset with funding problems and variations in legal, regulatory and ethical requirements. The Clinical Research Initiative for Global Health (CRIGH) has taken up the challenge to overcome these.
CRIGH is a worldwide partnership of research institutions and organizations that aims to establish a framework for international cooperation in non-commercial clinical trials and to promote evidence-based medicine (see www.crigh.org). It is a follow-up to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Global Science Forum initiative (see go.nature.com/2prercq). So far, CRIGH has 37 member and observer organizations from 5 continents, including the OECD and the World Health Organization.
The initiative is tackling such issues as infrastructure, funding, ethics, regulatory awareness, and comparative effectiveness and socio-economic impact in multinational clinical research. After just a few months in existence, it is consolidating international research standards, promoting new methodologies and technologies such as data management and sharing, and organizing clinical trials of treatments for rare diseases.