The medical industry is massive. There are thousands of readily available drug treatments for all types of physical and mental ailments. How do people keep track of it all?
Thanks to the clinical trial we are able to enjoy accessible drug treatments that aren’t just effective, but regularly updated on a rolling basis to provide the best possible resources for millions of people around the world. Clinical research organizations in USA are in constant need of volunteers eager to provide a little free time to the medical industry at large. If you’ve donated blood in the past or considered all the ways you could be helping out your fellow neighbor, clinical and paid research studies are a wonderful place to start.
Here’s a simple blow-by-blow on how clinical trials work, which ones are in high demand and what you should expect when applying.
The History Of Clinical Trials
Clinical trials have been around for decades. While the techniques and regulations revolving around medical research studies have changed over such a long span of time, the original function has remained very much the same — providing researchers, pharmacists and doctors the knowledge they need to provide the very best medical care to as many people as possible. Today trials are separated into different phases that gradually grow in complexity and number as they move from one stage to another. The phase 3 drug trial, for example, is only possible once phase 1 and phase 2 is completed.
Phase 1 Clinical Trials
The first phase of a clinical trial is called phase 1. This is the smallest and most contained study, delegated to a few dozen people to begin the first steps necessary to see a new medical treatment to completion. Researchers will record any and all side-effects over the span of a few weeks to a few months, with volunteers coming from a wide variety of backgrounds and health issues to provide the broadest possible picture.
Phase 2 Clinical Trial
The second phase is very much like the first, though with an expanded roster of volunteers numbering anywhere between 100 and 300. This larger sample size means an even larger picture of the drug treatment potentially reaching FDA approval. Trials are necessary for all forms of treatment, no matter how minor or small the issue. This includes the PSG study for sleeping disorders and epilepsy studies for all degrees of the condition. The phase 3 drug trial follows the second phase if it passes the test.
Phase 3 Clinical Trial
The third trial is even larger. Should a new treatment plan reach the phase 3 drug trial it’s becoming even more likely it will eventually be approved by the FDA’s rigorous standards. Phase 3 clinical trial drugs need to not just be effective, but safe, and anything less needs to be carefully analyzed and weighed alongside the benefits. Many drugs will have minor side-effects to a degree, such as drowsiness or mild indigestion, but more serious incidents need to be documented.
The Positive Impact Of Clinical Trials
If all of these phases are approved, the FDA will then consider the drug to be mass-produced and distributed throughout the country. This highly selective and cautious process is a necessary buffer against inferior medications that could, at best, not work…and at worst, actively hurt the people they were designed to help. From the first few steps of the phase 1 trial to the more thorough phase 3 drug trial, today’s rigorous standards have birthed forth life-saving treatments for millions of Americans.
Without clinical trials many medications and treatment methods would be unavailable or lackluster. Paid depression studies and Alzheimers research studies only continue to pave the way to a better future for everyone.