Most of us have heard the term “clinical research” at least once in our lives. What exactly is clinical research, when is it performed, and who may be responsible for their performance?
Lack of effective therapies
Effective treatments are still lacking for many of the diseases that people suffer from all over the world. Among them, we can mention type 2 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, which can significantly lower the standard of living.
Scientists, however, do not give up trying to create effective drugs or therapies for all diseases. However, to check how they work on the human body, the consent of the person who is to take the drug or undergo a specific therapy is necessary. This is where the clinical research is used.
What is clinical research?
Clinical research is conducted to confirm or detect the clinical or pharmacological effects of specific preparations or therapies on the human body. The primary goal of these activities is to determine whether a product created by scientists or treatment for a given disease is actually effective.
During this process, not only the effectiveness is checked, but also the necessary dosage is determined by assessing the absorption of drugs, it indicates possible side effects and the method of excretion of the substance from the body. Unfortunately, in many countries, knowledge of clinical research is still limited, and hence – there is a shortage of people willing to undergo research-phase therapies.
Who can conduct clinical research?
Clinical research is usually conducted in hospitals or specialized research centers focused on medical issues. Clinical research can only be led by qualified specialists who have passed clinical research courses of all degrees. Lower-level clinical research employees cooperate with the managers, who also have the appropriate qualifications and courses.
To supervise clinical research, it is necessary to have medical education to identify possible risks of continuing therapy. The main tasks of a clinical research manager is to determine the mode of action of a given drug or therapy but also to ensure the safety of clinical research participants.
Who can participate in clinical research?
Any willing adult natural person who meets the conditions for applicants may become a participant in clinical research. Sometimes research is conducted on a group of healthy people – when it comes to testing a therapy aimed at a disease that anyone can contract. However, it happens, that clinical research is conducted in the direction of introducing on the market a preparation aimed at a specific disease.
In each of the above cases, the participant must voluntarily agree to participate in them. The participant does not bear any costs related to medical examinations and drugs, but he must sign documents in which he declares that he is aware that the therapy or the drug is in the clinical research phase and may have negative consequences.
Infographic provided by The Emmes Company, a clinical research organization