Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Kosice - Faculty of Medicine

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Slovakia has become a part of ECRIN

    The Slovak Republic has become a part of the international pan-European organization for all forms of clinical research - ECRIN (European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network) at the high-level meeting,  which was held at the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic  on September 11, 2018. It has resulted in laying the foundations for the SLOVACRIN (Slovak Clinical Research Infrastructure Network) and the Slovak Republic has gained an observer status.
    ECRIN is a non-profit association that currently has more than 40 clinical studies focused on a broad spectrum of diseases from the various medical disciplines in its portfolio. The meeting was opened by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic Jozef Ridoško on behalf of the Minister of Health of the Slovak Republic Andrea Kalavska. He pointed out that much more attention should be paid to clinical research, not just research covered by pharmaceutical companies, but particular to the “Academy Based Research” - a research that will be carried out mainly at the university hospitals, specialized institutions (focused on the cardiovascular or oncological diseases, for example) and covered by medical faculties in the Slovak Republic. The advantage of involving SR in ECRIN is mainly the fact that our scientists, doctors and researchers  will have the possibility to engage in cooperation with equally focused workplaces in Europe, not only at the health care centres, but also at the institutions of „pre-clinical research“, which represent Europe’s absolute leadership in the field. Our patients will therefore have a unique opportunity to get much more innovative methods of treatment (including drugs that are not commonly available). The innovative treatment is often very expensive, so another benefit will be a significant finance saving for our health insurance companies (it was calculated to have cost hundreds of millions of Czech crowns in the Czech Republic over the last three years). It is especially important for improving the health of the Slovak population and improving the quality of health care.
    The great appreciation for the Slovak Republic was the presence of the CEO of ECRIN from Paris. The Professor Jacques Demotes said that the Slovak Republic faces the challenge of creating a national infrastructure for clinical research. The Faculty of Medicine, UPJS was entrusted by this task and became a scientific partner of ECRIN under the auspices of the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic.
    The Dean of the FM, UPJS prof. Daniel Pella, M.D., PhD was nominated and approved by the ECRIN Committee as the Director of SLOVACRIN. He pointed out that intensive cooperation between individual universities and top healthcare facilities will be necessary for a creation of a quality infrastructure. There are excellent prerequisites for the start of such cooperation (the existence of the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Science at the UPJS and the University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy) in Kosice. He expressed his belief that other medical faculties and the most important healthcare facilities in the whole of Slovakia will get involved in the cooperation simultaneously.
    The members of the ECRIN association are Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Portugal and Spain. Switzerland and the Slovak Republic have the status of an observer.
    Beáta Čečetková, M.D., PhD. from Prague has long collaborated with prof. Pella in many international multicentre clinical studies and she has significantly contributed to the establishment of SLOVACRIN and she has helped to overcome all obstacles. Finally, the successful presentation of the Slovak Republic and UPJS in Budapest in May was the last necessary step for the Slovak Republic’s involvement.
    The aim of SLOVACRIN is to build a national research infrastructure and to strengthen the international research contacts, with an emphasis on international cooperation of our experts in clinical trials and biomedical research. The final effect will be the improvement of accessibility of innovative therapies and new drugs for patients in Slovakia.

Last update: 02.10.2018