More than 60 students from four education centers in San Sebastián learned about the role of hospitals and pharmaceutical companies in the R&D of a drug or how a patient can participate in clinical TRIALS
The program ‘Bringing science closer to schools’ arrived for the first time in San Sebastián, with the dual purpose of disseminating science and creating vocations.
Students from four educational centers in San Sebastián—Andoain Ikastola, La Anunciata Ikastekea, St. Patrick’s English School, and La Asunción—joined this Friday in the initiative Bringing Science into Schools, a project that seeks to contribute to the dissemination of biomedical research among high school students and is sponsored by the Biogipuzkoa Health Research Institute and the National Business Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry (Farmaindustria).
Specifically, and thanks to the participation of health professionals, researchers, patients, and the pharmaceutical industry, more than 60 students from the aforementioned centers learned what happens until a cure arrives in the patient’s hands. And biomedical research is a long, complicated, and expensive process because it takes between 10 and 12 years to develop and bring a new drug or vaccine to the patient, because the failure rate is very high, and because the achievement of a bag-of-treatment requires an average investment of 2.4 billion euros.
The students also understood how these treatments of the future are evaluated in hospitals and what the role of health professionals is in this process, from the hand of Ioana Riaño, head of clinical research and scientific coordinator of Biogipuzkoa. “Through this day, students will learn firsthand about the importance of biomedical research and what the necessary process is to make the medicine available to the patients to help or cure them. All of us involved enthusiastically promote this day that serves as a bridge between science and young people; it is considered a valuable opportunity to encourage their interest and training while accepting their points of view and concerns,” said Riaño.
“These sessions are an opportunity for students to learn about the scientific and regulatory process on which the development of new drugs is based. This way we can contribute to providing the new generation of knowledge and the tools that allow them to protect themselves from fraud and pseudoscience, which still exist in the field of health,” added Itziar Vergara, scientific director of Biogipuzkoa, who also participated in the event.
The dissemination of knowledge about the value of biomedical research for society is the central goal of the initiative, which includes another important goal: awakening vocations. “The R&D of a new drug requires multidisciplinary teams (doctors, pharmacists, biologists, physicists, mathematicians, engineers…) to respond to the unmet medical needs of patients, and the students were able to verify that the path of health research can be explored in many ways,” recalls the director of clinical and translational research at Farmaindustria, Amelia Martín Uranga.
Maialen Barrero, doctor of the Oncology Clinical Management Unit in Biogipuzkoa, also participated in the event; Francisco de Asís Carmona, doctor of the Infectious Diseases Service at the University Hospital of Donostia; Juan María Apellaniz, participant in a clinical trial, and Tatiana Fernández, coordinator of Clinical Research Operations in Biogipuzkoa
Bringing science into schools is an initiative of Farmaindustria that, in collaboration with different hospitals and research centers, has held different editions in Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga and Cantabria for the last eight years and is already training. more than 3,000 students in the centers of these four provinces, to which Guipúzcoa is now added.