Clinical trials are best described as medical research studies conducted on humans to arrive at definitive conclusions pertaining to certain scientific findings regarding prevention, detection, or treatment of various types of diseases. In other words, through trials it becomes easy to determine whether a particular approach, new device or medicine is safe for use or consumption by humans.
Thus, clinical trials form one of the most important and promising aspects of medical research. Often, clinical trials are conducted in phases . In the first phase( i.e. the first testing on humans), only a small group of people is involved. Basically, it’s done to find out if the treatment is safe for humans and whether there are any harmful side effects due to its consumption. Once it is found to be safe, researchers move to the second phase. Here, the effectiveness of the tested medicine or therapy for a particular disease is gauged. Positive results confirm passage to phase three. In phase three, comparative analysis is made of the standard and existing treatments with that of the newly developed ones. This phase involves participation of hundreds of people at various hospitals, cooperative groups or research centers.
Thus, clinical trials form the most critical part of the drug development process. It is the last step undertaken in a long research process and provides crucial evidence to the researches to better diagnose and treat the diseases.
It is important to increase the awareness of clinical trials among people. Researchers will never be able to gauge the effectiveness of a newly developed treatment or medicine unless more people volunteer to be a part of trials. As the number of people who participate in the trails increase, the complicated questions begin to untangle. And as a result, better and improved treatments will become available.
There have been misconceptions in the past that clinical trials were the last resort available to patients who had no other choices left for treatment. This is however, not true. It should always be remembered that clinical trials also help in developing new treatments to deal with diseases which have no treatments at all.
Once a new treatment or medicine has been successfully tested in clinical trial, it may be made available to the masses at large. The drugs available today have also undergone clinical trials in the past. Participation of people in clinical trials is of utmost importance to determine the success of the new treatment.
So, just as medical research is incomplete without clinical trials, clinical trials require the participation of participants in order make clinical trials successful. Every drug has to wait a number of years to measure the distance from the laboratories to the patient. And during this journey, often the greatest amount of time is consumed by looking for people who would agree to participate in each trial. However, the awareness among people regarding clinical trials is increasing. This will eventually bring down the time required to accrue patients to clinical trials and subsequently, for the new treatment or drug to become a standard one.