After 4 years of prohibition, Laura Chinchilla, President of the Republic of Costa Rica, signed new legislation on April 22, 2014, which allows the private, academic and public sector to once again produce new drugs and medical devices--a breakthrough for the scientific community in the country.
In 2010, all clinical trials were suspended by the Costa Rican government, due to concern that clinical studies were not being properly regulated. As a result, approximately 14,000 patients lost the ability to participate in clinical trials, 20 private clinical research centers were closed, and about 250 clinical research professionals were suspended, according to Guillermo Rodriguez, President of the Institute Costarricense Clinical Research (ICIC.)
The new legislation brings hope to further scientific projects, placing Costa Rica on the world stage in health issues, including a treatment to cure pancreatic cancer and the development of personalized treatments for gastric cancer.
Costa Rica now faces the challenge of recovering the confidence of investor capital, which was forced to move its resources to other countries such as Guatemala, Panama, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. Now, with new protocols in place, its stable economy and high quality of doctors and medical professionals--we will most likely see a resurgence of clinical trials and medical research in the country.