The month of May signals the arrival of Clinical Trials Day – a day that recognises and celebrates the contributions made by those in the clinical research professions, as well as raising awareness around the importance of clinical trials.

The history

In May 1747, a man names James Lind is thought to have conducted the first randomised clinical trial ever, aboard a ship in the English Channel. Lind, a pioneer of naval hygiene, was aware that scurvy was thought to be killing more British seamen than foreign arms, meaning that it needed to be stopped.

He took action on board the HMS Salisbury, selecting 12 men with scurvy and dividing them into six pairs. He then began to experiment with different remedies on each pair – finding that the pair who were treated with citrus fruits made an miraculous recovery. Following this breakthrough, James Lind was credited with organising the first clinical trial – cementing the importance of clinical trials and their vital place in medical research, both in history and in the modern day.

The clinical trials of today

According to the NHS, “a clinical trial compares the effects of one treatment with another. It may involve patients, healthy people, or both”, with researchers testing a wide range of ‘interventions’ including, for example, drugs, devices and health education during trials.

UK Clinical Trials Gateway highlight that large numbers of people take part in thousands of clinical trials in the UK every year, which safely study many different kinds of treatments. Although there can be small risks involved in clinical trials, there are rigorous safety processes in place to protect your rights, dignity, safety and wellbeing if you take part in a clinical trial in the UK – including review by an NHS Research Ethics Committee.

FluCamp clinical trials

The trials that we conduct here at FluCamp are reliant on the incredible volunteers who take part in our studies – our Everyday Heroes. These people help us to discover effective ways of treating viruses like the flu and the common cold, by allowing us to better understand what happens to the body when these illnesses occur. Our goal is to be able to treat, and eventually eradicate, some of the world’s most prevalent viral illnesses – but we can’t do it without you. Find out more about how we minimise risks during our clinical trials, or discover how you can become an Everyday Hero today to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day 2018.

Head to Twitter using the hashtag #ICTD18 to check out some of the incredible stories highlighting the successes of the clinical trial industry in the UK.

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