shutterstock 298879520 min - A Guide to Clinical Research

A Guide to Clinical Research

How is Clinical Research Done?

Funded by pharmaceutical companies, clinical research is conducted by research teams being comprised of doctors and other medical professionals. It is often conducted at academic medical centers and eminent research study sites. These medical facilities generally have their Internal Review Boards to supervise the ethical conduct of the research.

The research is done in four phases:

Phase I:

The effect of the medication is tested on healthy people. The treatment or medication will have no unpleasant effects.

Phase II and Phase III:

These two stages include an intensive study of the safety, efficiency, and dosage of the medication. Based on these stages, the FDA can decide on the approval of the drug.

Phase IV:

The final stage assesses the new uses of previously approved treatments. Further information may be collected on long term benefits and risks as well.

All of these stages in clinical research are regulated by strenuous protocols and are governed by regulatory bodies like the FDA and some small Independent Review Boards or IRBs. IRBs are composed of medical experts, doctors, ethicists, and other people.

How Long Does Clinical Research Take?

It takes anywhere from a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 8 years to conduct clinical research on a new drug or equipment because of the complex nature of testing on complex biological systems like human beings.

Understanding the Importance of Clinical Trials

Without clinical research, medical conditions today that barely bother us might pose a big threat to our well-being. For example, headaches and chronic backache would be like serious trauma today if the researches didn’t introduce aspirin.

Research wouldn’t be required if the medical expertise is perfect today, which of course it isn’t. If no new health conditions, like Zika or Ebola, occurred, the research wouldn’t be needed. If medical science could prevent and cure all infections, all cancers, and all diseases like diabetes and dementia, clinical research would be history. But, we all are familiar with the unpredictability of the diseases as well as the limitation of the existing treatments.

Clinical researches help the medical experts find out effective treatments for new and existing diseases. For medical care to be better tomorrow or even just as great as it is in recent times, clinical trials are vital to keeping the momentum.

How Clinical Research is Different from Medical Care?

Contrary to popular belief, clinical research is different from medical care. However, the terms are more interchangeable when you get medical care from a doctor who is also the researcher. In medical care, a doctor creates a plan of care that is personalized to your health. When you participate in clinical research, you and the researcher are required to follow the plan termed as the “study protocol”. The plan can’t be personalized to you, but it contains the steps to follow if a participant is not doing well.

Broadly speaking, a clinical trial is an experiment to determine the safety and efficiency of a drug.

Hopefully you have a better understanding about clinical research.  What do you think? Please let us know by commenting below!

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