Saturday, September 3, 2011

Clinical Trials?


Have you been asked to participate in clinical trials? 
Has a clinical trial been offered for you to consider?

Chances are the answer is no! That’s because very few physicians offer this option to their patients. It is difficult to get numbers on this but in my estimate probably less than 1 in 100 doctors have served as principal investigators in clinical trials.

And there are only 12 Certified Physician Investigators in the State of Ohio.
I am one of those.

You might say so what about clinical trials? I don't want to be a guinea pig to test out a drug before it gets approved! Well just think for a moment. What if everyone felt that way about clinical trials? We would not have any drugs or medical devices for treatment. Drugs that you are taking right now would not be available if no one participated in clinical trials. And all drugs have been tested in animals, sometimes guinea pigs, before they are tested in humans.

Before any new drug or medical device comes on the market, it must be extensively tested and then approved in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In Europe, the European Medicine Agency (EMA) has authority.


So why might you consider taking part in a clinical study? Maybe because you want to simply help advance medical knowledge and help others suffering with your condition.

Maybe you are suffering with a disease for which there is no truly effective treatment. Or maybe you’ve tried all approved treatments without much success.

Most trials will give money to cover the cost of your time and transportation. And the treatment being tested is offered at no charge to you. Sometimes you receive other medication or supplies at no cost. And no health insurance is required to participate in clinical trials. But most people do not participate in clinical trials for financial reasons.

I have found that many people choose to participate in clinical trials because they value the extra special and detailed attention they get when they are in a clinical trial as compared to usual care. We follow participants really closely in most clinical trials.

Of course, clinical trials are not the same as regular medical treatment. They are experiments, designed to test new medicines, devices, or other therapies. And in most clinical trials, there is no guarantee that you’ll actually receive the experimental treatment being tested.

There are very strict rules for conducting clinical trials. Each clinical trial has a protocol that the clinical research team has to follow. Many people are unable to participate simply because they may not qualify based upon the clinical trial protocol.

Our site has been involved in many important clinical trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and by pharmaceutical companies. We have a dedicated research team with nurses who are certified in clinical research. They have many years of experience in clinical trials.

The physician and principal investigator supervises the clinical trial. At our site, that’s me.

Our practice values the opportunity to offer clinical trials to a select few of our patients.

We hope that each clinical trial will yield important results.

We hope to reduce the burden of human suffering from disease.
These are some thoughts to keep in mind if you are ever offered to participate in a clinical trial.
Feel free to contact our clinical research department  if you want to know what studies we are currently conducting. 

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