I Want To Volunteer For Medical Research Studies How Does A Clinical Trial Work?

You take painkillers to take a bite out of your headache. You use allergy medication to get through a shift. Thanks to today’s medicinal technology we have a lot of resources for handling all sorts of health problems.

Without clinical drug development, however, we would be at a loss. The clinical study is the necessary in-between for researchers and the general population, providing a comprehensive diagnosis of drugs ranging from mild painkillers to life-saving treatment therapies. Although it’s essential to the function of clinical drug development, there are still misconceptions about the work that goes into it. Should you be considering donating blood this year or offering an additional perspective to the field of pharmaceutical technology, consider doing some good with clinical drug development.

The list below will describe the basic function of medical research studies and how they save countless lives every year.

The Function Of Informed Consent

No clinical drug study can be done without informed consent. This is element is so important that, in the 9th revision of the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Code it even has its own section. Researchers that need to use children (defined today as anyone under the age of 18) requires consent from either a parent or legal guardian. Today’s clinical trial is thorough, cautious and sectioned into careful steps to ensure the highest quality result possible. The first step is also known as a phase 1 clinical trial.

Phase 1 Trials

The first phase in clinical drug development is the smallest. Researchers will test either an experimental drug or treatment therapy to a small group of people, no smaller than 20 and no larger than 80, to start testing its effects. Throughout the process extensive notes will be taken and any side-effects, no matter how minor, will be monitored. Should this stage be considered a success the study will then move to the second phase.

Phase 2 Trials

The second phase is not unlike the first, except larger and a little more expansive. The experimental drug or treatment therapy will be administered to a group of people numbered 100 or 300, no bigger and no smaller. Clinical trials are so methodical and careful because of the need to make the drug as accessible as possible to a large portion of the population. While not everybody can take every form of medication, the goal is always to do the best job possible.

Phase 3 Trials

The third phase is the largest in the group. The experimental drug or treatment will be administered to the largest group, ranging from 1,000 to 3,000, and will give researchers enough information to help them make a more informed decision on the nature of their new medicine. Should the effectiveness be positively compared to standard or equivalent treatments they will then send the result of the trials to the fourth stage for the FDA’s approval.

The Result Of Clinical Drug Development

Without clinical drug development our world would be a much more difficult place to live. With new illnesses, virus strains and bacteria cropping up constantly, it’s the efforts of clinical drug development volunteers that keep us ahead of the curve. Today’s clinical study is even more thorough and careful. Back in the 1990’s a clinical trial would last around 460 days, while a clinical trial in 2005 was closer to 780. A recent study found over 45% of Americans believe taking part in clinical trials is as valuable to society as donating blood.

Medical research studies are how we navigate a world that can always be a little better. How could your volunteer work save a life?

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