Vienna School of Clinical Research (VSCR) builds capabilities for clinical research in Saudi Arabia.

Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, October 2017


In October 2017 VSCR organized a 6-day workshop to deliver Good Clinical Practice (GCP) in partnership with King Fahad Specialist Hospital, Dammam, Saudi Arabia, King Abdul-Aziz Medical City Jeddah, and King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh. The content of the program focused on developing the capabilities to help to increase the research outputs and outcomes of researchers.

VSCR GCP course participants, King Fahad Specialist Hospital, Dammam, Saudi Arabia


Recent Saudi government announcements describe strategic plans (Programe 2030) of the Saudi Kingdom to heavily invest into diversified structural developments including  investments into R&D including the health care sector.  Strategic plans are in place in Saudi Arabia to promote participation in international  clinical trials (CTs) in the Kingdom.


Highlighting the importance of these trials to foster advancement in the field of research related to human subjects, Prof. Heinrich Klech, the managing director of VSCR said “Clinical trials improve the standard of care of any clinical organization. They are the entrance door to international cooperation, access to publication, and continuous scientific exchange. Investments in clinical trials are fostering research capabilities and investments in organizations and infrastructure.

Dr Hani Al-Hashmi, Consultant, Adult Medical Oncology/Hematology and bone marrow transplantation, King Fahad Specialist Hospital, Dammam, Saudi Arabia, said “we strongly believe in partnership and collaboration. The success of this meeting will promote our educational, training and research agenda. We have discussed previously the needs in the region and with such wonderful collaboration we could expect great future.”

He added that the workshops were organized “to raise the level of knowledge and research awareness as well as activities in the region.
The gathering would also be beneficial to various stakeholders in the medical field not only for their daily practices but also for building research and long lasting networks”, he pointed out.

King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

VSCR GCP course participants, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh; Saudi Arabia


“The workshops were done in those strategic cities to familiarize researchers with the structure and content of regulations and guidelines prevailing in clinical trials”, said Dr Mona Aldabbagh, Section Head, Research Training & Development at King Abdul-Aziz Medical City, Jeddah.

She explained that the workshops will “help researchers attain tools to provide easy referencing of regulations and guidelines for good clinical practice, and provide guidance to researchers in order to apply these regulations and guidelines to real‐life situations.”

Moreover, she added that “the periodic assessments attained though these workshops assure keeping researchers up-to-date with “all new rules related to subject’s safety and confidentiality of their information.”


VSCR GCP course participants, King Abdul-Aziz Medical City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


Hany Khalifa, director Clinical Research of Roche Saudi Arabia LLC, who supported the workshop added that “the workshops are equally rewarding to Investigators, clinical scientists, regulatory personnel in government and industry, to study nurses and to coordinators as well as to physicians in R&D and  in medical affairs.”



Prof. Heinrich Klech, managing director VSCR and Jana Gransier, senior lecturer, VSCR


Programs of this nature can only be successfully sustained  if there are “champions in the country who see the opportunity to improve and upgrade their organizations by training and continuous learning of their staff,” Prof. Heinrich Klech remarked. . It needs some sort of a public campaign or information about the value of CTs within the population building on examples from other countries – this is important to build up the understanding of the public in order to comply with the culture in the country.”


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