Clinical research – important step in discovering new treatments

Posted on Oct 22, 2015 in Health

The quality of present medical care is the result of many years of research performed by physicians and PhDs. The goal of medical professionals in general is to both investigate causes and find treatments for diseases. Basically, clinical trials UK show researchers what does and doesn’t work. Only by testing a new drug are scientists able to tell if the side effects are acceptable and to weight the benefits of the new treatment. Supporting clinical trials means supporting the future of medicine.

Why is it so important?

Experiments and tests have been part of medicine for a long time. The purpose of a clinical trial is to answer two basic questions. The first question that researchers pose is related to the success of the treatment. It is obvious that in the beginning there is no way of knowing the results of the experiment. In other words, medical physicians need to assess the extent to which the new treatment works and whether it is better compared to previous treatments. On the other hand, physicians have to be extremely careful because no treatment is free from side effects. In order to answer this dilemma and improve the treatment, experiments are carried out.

Types of clinical trials

While some experiments focus on comparing drugs, others are used to compare different treatments across a range of conditions. Nonetheless, the basic purpose of the experiment is to come up with a different approach to prevent and treat illnesses. Even though you may be surprised to find out that doctors really don’t know which treatment is more effective, remember that they are only human. More precisely, they use the knowledge gathered from textbooks or conferences, which sometimes is not enough. Medical research that involves the participation of people is called clinical trial. The following division that is made concerns the different stages. There are pilot studies that take place before the actual experiment, screening trials, and prevention trials.

Phases of a clinical trial

In the first two phases of an experiment, like a cancer drug experiment, the medical physicians evaluate the safety of the drug by giving it to a few people. Generally, they have to be healthy volunteers and they are provided with compensation for taking part in the experiment. On the contrary, if the research is focused on finding a cure for cancer, then only sick participants are accepted. In the beginning, the drug is administered to everyone without making exceptions. During the second phase, researchers already have some knowledge about the subject and the new drug is given to a larger group of people.

Once researchers have some idea about the effects of the new drug they pass on to Phase 3 when the effects of the drug are compared with standard treatments. Equally important is that Phase 3 is randomized, meaning that some groups receive the actual drug, and others a placebo. The last phase implies surveillance of the participants.

To sum up, clinical trials are important for discovering new drugs and above all for contributing to the well-being of people. No treatment is approved without first evaluating the power of the drug and the possible side effects. Thanks to research, illnesses have a lesser impact on your health so that you can live longer and enjoy life.