At present, many (patient-based) clinical studies are conducted under the sponsorship of the pharmaceutical industry. In this environment, it’s common that the only studies carried out are those expected to bring about financial gain, in the short or long term, by introducing new medicines to the market.
On the other hand, finding a solution to many of the challenges of today’s medicine would bring about social improvement without having any direct economic impact. So, what happens in terms of researching rare and uncommon illnesses? Who would finance a comparative study between two surgical techniques to establish which has the better risk-benefit ratio? It’s commonly the doctor who must take the important decisions and who, in many cases needs the support of more scientific evidence, evidence that doesn’t have a direct economic benefit. Who is going to look into these issues?
In a bid to tackle the problem, the Spanish state has created powerful research centres. In addition, there are many foundations, such as the Barraquer Foundation and other associations, that are dedicated to providing scientific projects the resources needed, otherwise they would be unable to proceed.
For private health care centres, clinical research involves an over-effort with very little financial gain. However, since its inception, the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre has committed itself to conducting scientific research and has worked with other medical and research centres towards improving the quality of life of patients with eye conditions. This is the vocation of our team of professionals and our main commitment to society.
Gemma Julio, deputy director of research at the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre.