Belgium is Europe's No 2 in clinical trials


1,500 clinical trials, used to test new medicines, are currently ongoing in Belgium. Denmark is the only country ahead of us.

The number of requests to launch clinical trials increased by 9% between 2017 and 2018. Our country has an excellent reputation in this field, thanks to the competence of our scientists and hospitals. In fact, their reputation extends way beyond the borders, which is why many international pharmaceutical companies are keen to come and test their medicines in Belgium. Another reason for our top position is our favourable fiscal policy concerning clinical trials. Scientists and laboratory workers pay no income tax and there is a reduced level of corporate tax on income from a company's own innovation. There is a high score for so-called phase-1 studies, during which the safety and effect of a medicine is tested on a small group of patients or healthy people. This is because the application for clinical trials is fast, simple and free of charge.

80% of all clinical studies are carried out on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry, which invested around 3.6 billion euros in research and development in 2018. The remaining 20% take place in the academic world. Belgium is particularly well known for the quality of its cancer research. A grand total of 19% of all clinical studies on cancer medicine in the European Union are conducted in our country.