Edited by Katie Rettig
Between 2008 – 2013, 2.7M young professionals left Pakistan in search for better career opportunities. “Brain drain” is a term commonly used to describe the movement of highly skilled individuals from underdeveloped to developed countries. Pakathon, a non-profit seed fund, reverses this “brain drain” by mentoring Pakistanis and investing in their return to Pakistan.
Unlike traditional business accelerators and incubators, Pakathon’s Returner’s Program provides mentorship and guidance to entrepreneurs all the way from the idea development stage to on-the-ground work in Pakistan. Today, Pakathon has over 85 volunteers and 8 chapters across the globe. The organization was also featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.
Pakathon’s most recent Pakistan-based project, Clinical Research Solutions Pakistan (CReSP), helps bridge the gap between the global pharmaceutical industry and the lack of clinical trials within Pakistan. CReSP provides regulatory oversight, training, and continuous monitoring and auditing services to pharmaceutical sponsors looking to enter the Pakistani clinical trials market. As an auditing agency, CReSP identifies and maintains a network of ICH-GCP, FDA, and EMA standard compliant research centers by establishing a culture of accountability while elevating Pakistan to the global standards of clinical research.
CReSP addresses Pakistan’s crucial need for a platform which connects sponsors to sites and aims to position Pakistan as a key player in the foreign clinical trials market. This increases Pakistani genetic representation in clinical trials and creates a diverse drug development ecosystem while bringing investment into the Pakistani healthcare industry.
Pakathon and CReSP are currently collaborating together in Pakathon’s Returner’s Program with the goal of CReSP deploying to Pakistan in the next 6 months. To learn more about Pakathon’s Returner’s Program and success stories, visit Pakathon’s website.