April 26, 2023
On April 19th at 6 PM EST, PiVOT’s Business Development Head, Mr. Joseph Cheng, was invited by Global Life Sciences Alliance (GLSA) to be their guest speaker at their monthly networking event. He discussed the advantages of conducting clinical trials in the Philippines as an ideal solution for clinical trials in the United States.
The event was hosted by Chris Matheus, GLSA’s Chief Commercial & Networking Officer, and Denise Mcnerney, GLSA’s Chief Strategy & Operations Officer, and was open to all. Attendees were free to come and go as they pleased, with the topic and presenter starting 10-15 minutes after the start time once a good number of people had assembled.
He started his presentation with an interactive game that involved guessing famous Filipino personalities in America based on their names and descriptions. This helped the audience feel connected and invested in the presentation, as they recognized familiar names like Manny Pacquiao, Jokoy, Batista, and Vanessa Hudgens.
After this engaging introduction, Joseph gave a brief overview of the history of Philippine-American relations, setting the foundation for the rest of his presentation.
One of the most notable similarities is the Philippine political system, which is modeled after the US. The Philippines adopted the US Constitution in 1935, making it the basis of their own constitution. The Philippine government is divided into three branches, just like in the US, with the executive, legislative, and judicial branches having their own distinct roles and responsibilities.
Another similarity is the Philippine education system, which is greatly modeled after the US. The American School System introduced English as a mandatory subject and made it the official language of instruction, which explains why English is one of the official languages in the Philippines. The Philippines has 7,000+ islands, and even though they have their own local dialect, they can respond in English when you talk to them in English.
For years, the Philippines has been a hub for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services, especially for companies based in the United States. Many American companies have outsourced their customer service and other business functions to the Philippines due to the country’s high level of English proficiency and low labor costs.
Filipinos also make up 4% of the registered nurses in the US, making them an essential part of the healthcare system in America.
Both Americans and Filipinos drive on the right side of the road. In Metropolitan areas, you don’t talk distance, you talk time. This means that instead of saying something is 10 miles away, you would say it’s 30 minutes away, depending on the traffic conditions.
Basketball is another passion shared by both Americans and Filipinos. The sport is hugely popular in both countries, with many Filipinos following the NBA and playing basketball in their local communities.
Finally, American fast food chains such as McDonald’s, KFC, and Burger King are very popular in the Philippines.
He then introduced popular Filipino dishes and desserts such as Adobo, Lechon, Longganisa, Sinigang, Pork Sisig, and Halo-Halo. These dishes are not only mouth-watering but are also high in fat, salt, and sugar. It’s no wonder why Heart Diseases, Cerebrovascular Diseases, Hypertensive Diseases, and Diabetes are the top causes of death in the Philippines.
He highlighted that the Philippines has a large and diverse population with 113 million Filipinos, providing access to a diverse patient pool for clinical trials. This can be beneficial in recruiting patients for studies and obtaining a representative sample of the population. With 1.5 million babies born every year, there are also more opportunities for pediatric and vaccine trials, which are enticing for parents who cannot afford to book appointments with doctors. Not only can they get vaccines, but they also receive free meetings and consultations with pediatricians, as well as an allowance for showing up. (Related Reading: Why The Philippines is an ideal destination for Clinical Trials)
Joseph brought attention to the remarkable work of PiVOT, the leading and largest Philippine Contract Research Organization. Boasting over 100 skilled employees and a wealth of expertise in therapeutic areas such as COVID Vaccines, Pediatric Vaccines, Tuberculosis, Gastroenterology, Rheumatology, and Cardiology, PiVOT has successfully enrolled over 40,000 participants in their clinical trials even though they began as a CRO only in 2019. (Learn More about PiVOT here)
This information is particularly relevant for the GLSA Networking event because it shows the potential benefits of conducting clinical trials in the Philippines, which could lead to the development of new treatments and medications for diseases that affect both countries.
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