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How Medical Research Studies Are Helping Provide Better, Safer Prescription Drugs

Phase 1 clinical trial

How have medical advances impacted your everyday life? Some would say they rely on prescription drugs every day to manage chronic illness. Others would cite the benefits of physical therapy for ongoing pain. Medical research has gone through impressive advances over the past few decades and, thanks to medical research studies, the future is only going to get better from here. The benefits of a clinical study can’t be understated, as it’s through the everyday efforts of volunteers are we able to enjoy advanced medicine, therapies and even surgeries. However, clinical trials undergo rigorous oversight processes to ensure the safety and protection of those that apply. Below is a simple list to help you learn more about medical research studies and what they can offer you and the world at large.

What Is Informed Consent?

Medical research studies cannot be completed without consent on behalf of the volunteers. Informed consent is so important, in fact, that the 9th revision of the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Code has its own section on the matter. Medical research studies are not just useful, they’re only at their best when done safely and under the rigid guidelines of ever evolving standards on human decency.

What If Kids Want To Enter?

Some medication needs the aid of children in order to expand its effectiveness on the population. If researchers wish to use children in their trials, defined as any person under the age of 18, they are legally required to seek out the consent of a parent or guardian of the child. If they are unable to obtain this they are legally barred from having the child take part in their medical research studies.

What Is A Phase 1 Clinical Trial?

Medical research studies are conducted through step-by-step trials. Phase I trials have researchers testing either an experimental drug or form of treatment among a small group of people, no less than 20 and no more than 80, to better evaluate its safety and side-effects. Without these tests medical products would be much more risky and potentially harmful. Back in 199 a clinical trial generally lasted 460 days. As of more recent years, clinical trials will last for 780 days or longer.

What Is A Phase II and III Trial?

Phase II and Phase III trials follow a Phase I’s success, continuing to administer the drug or therapy among larger groups of people. A Phase II will do no less than 100 and no more than 300, while a Phase III will be administered to at least 1,000 people to confirm whether it’s ready to be completed. Said medication will also be compared with standard, previous or equivalent treatments.

What Is A Phase IV Trial?

Last, but not least, we have the final stage of development. Where the prior three trials are seen administering drugs and treatment therapies to gradually larger groups of people, the last trial submits a New Drug Application (also known as an NDA) for approval. This is done so that the product can go on the market and reach a larger audience. Of the nearly 10,000 durgs that enter every year, only 250 will make it to pre-clinical trial testing and a mere five to clinical trial testing. On average, only one will be approved by the FDA.

Should I Enter Medical Research Studies?

Clinical drug development is a vital part of our medical industry. Without it fewer products would be on the market and more people would go without essential, even life-saving, therapies, treatments and drugs. A survey about clinical trials conducted in the United States saw an overwhelming majority of respondents having never participated in a medical research study. Another 46% agreed that taking part in clinical trials was as valuable to healthcare as donating blood or tissue. Consider applying for a medical research study next time you’re wondering how to make healthcare more accessible. The world is better off with your efforts.

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