Why are clinical trials important? - FluCamp

Clinical trials are a type of medical study that tests the use of a pharmaceutical drug, medical device or other treatment on human participants to evaluate its efficacy and safety. Understanding the importance of clinical trials can shed more light on the role these studies play in helping to advance scientific knowledge, improve the medical industry, enhance patient care and develop innovative treatments.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the significance of clinical trials and consider their role in the healthcare sector.

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The significance of clinical trials

Clinical trials are designed to obtain important data regarding diseases, treatments and interventions. They are a collaborative process between researchers, participants and healthcare professionals to ensure clinical trials are thorough and scientifically valuable but also that they provide comfortable experience for those participating in the trial. When you take part in a clinical trial, you’ll be presented with the opportunity to use an experimental treatment that is still being researched. Depending on the study design, you may end up taking a placebo instead.

The data that the researchers collect helps them understand how effective and safe these interventions are. This also ensures products, like new treatments for diseases or medical devices, can safely go to market.

Ensuring the safety and efficacy of treatments

There are certain misconceptions that people have about clinical trials, especially when it comes to safety. The treatment that a patient receives during a clinical trial is still experimental. The trial is being conducted to gather more data on the drug’s efficacy and safety, which means  people often have concerns about the safety of these trials.

However, clinical trials are carefully designed and strictly monitored. The patient’s safety is one of the top priorities. They start with a minimal dose during the earlier stages of the trial and won’t exceed certain limits.

Independent reviewers are involved in evaluating all the data. Data and Safety Monitoring Boards in the UK review all of the details related to the treatment even before recruiting participants. As the study progresses, they continue to monitor the trial to ensure the safety of patients.

Leading to better and improved medications

There are many diseases that are still considered difficult to treat in the modern day. Even treatable diseases have their limitations. Sometimes, drugs only work in the early stages or may take too long to treat the disease.

Clinical trials are important for achieving better medical care. When clinical studies show positive results, it creates an opportunity for a new drug or treatment to come to market. These treatments can help to improve the way diseases are treated, reduce the side effects of current treatments and may also reduce the mortality rate in the long term. Studies can also look for treatments that work better alongside other conditions a patient may have. For example, FluCamp is currently conducting clinical trials to improve dealing with the common cold among asthma sufferers.

Sometimes, new interventions also offer a safer treatment compared to current interventions. Clinical trials may evaluate an effective oral treatment over a current injection as this will be more convenient for patients, which can improve treatment adherence and quality of life.

Contributing to evidence-based medicine

When a clinical trial is completed, the data and results obtained are documented. Detailed reports are created to show how these interventions affected participants in the study.

There are governmental bodies and authorities involved in the review process. Due to the strict criteria and management by these agencies, clinical trial leaders will ensure they provide comprehensive documentation throughout the study. This later helps to ensure all notes can be used to determine how a specific outcome was achieved.

This also means clinical trials can help to contribute to evidence-based medicine. When healthcare providers find themselves in a situation where a patient has a difficult-to-treat disease or isn’t responding well to the current treatments, they can then turn to evidence-based medicine as a potential solution.

Future studies can use this data to get right to the point of their own goals instead of having to go through all the initial steps. For example, a study that focuses on the risk that smoking poses in terms of cancer can offer valuable data for future research projects that will go into more detail about the risk when looking at a specific type of cancer, such as colon cancer or throat cancer.

Empowering patient care and participation

Clinical trials also play a role in improving overall patient care.

Patients get access to a specialised team of medical experts who are familiar with the condition that’s being studied. When new drugs show potential in treating a disease, patients who participate in these studies get access to them before they go public, allowing the patient to potentially improve their health during the clinical trial period.

Every clinical trial comes with detailed information about the interventions that the researchers are studying and the purpose of the trial. This information provides comprehensive details about why the study is being conducted. The patient then provides informed consent and has the option to leave the trial at any point if they wish.

There are many stories that patients have shared with FluCamp regarding their experiences. Jonathan, a medical design engineer, found the amount of information that FluCamp was able to provide exceptionally helpful, especially when he had some concerns over the type of drug he would receive during the trial. David’s FluCamp experience is also an excellent example, as he mentioned his keen interest in the compensation and medical side of things.

Preventing bias

Clinical trials incorporate a number of techniques to help prevent bias. For example, when a pharmaceutical company has a product they are testing through clinical trials, randomised studies can be conducted.

These studies use a high level of privacy to ensure true randomisation of the participants. In turn, there’s no bias toward giving a specific group of patients the drug. Instead, the entire group is placed in a pool and randomised using technology. Patients and the healthcare team involved will also only know which groups received the new treatment, current intervention, placebo and other elements that are involved by the end of the study.

What this essentially means is that clinical trials are designed to help maintain the integrity of scientific data through predefined study protocols that reduce data manipulation.

Our commitment to research

FluCamp is a clinical research company that specialises in advancing medical knowledge and improving public health. We are committed to conducting innovative research focused on developing treatments and vaccines for infectious diseases, including influenza.

FluCamp is committed to empowering individuals with the information needed to make informed decisions regarding participating. Our approach to research focuses on ensuring all protocols are regulatory approved and performed in an environment that’s controlled and safe.

What next?

Clinical trials help to improve medicine and bring new, more effective treatments to the market and ensure evidence-based treatments can be provided to patients. Data collected through certain studies can be used by healthcare providers when making important decisions for their patients, which means these trials also contribute to better patient outcomes in the process.

If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, or have questions regarding safety, further information can be found on our website. You can also contact us at FluCamp if you have any questions.

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