The Benefits Of Medical Research Studies
Medical research studies are an important part of the medical field. Medical research studies help medical professionals to determine what course of treatment works, what doesn’t, and what we should be looking into to make the next breakthrough. Part of medical research studies involves clinical trials with consenting participants who willingly take a drug and are monitored in order to gauge how well the drug works as well as any negative side affects that may occur. Consent to a trial for clinical drug development is highly important, and the continuing informed consent of all clinical trial participants is so protected and valued that it has its own section in the ninth revision of the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Code. In the case of a clinical study that requires the participation of children, the parents of the children are required to provide informed consent in order for their children to be part of the clinical trial.
Volunteering to participate in medical research studies is a hugely valuable thing to do, and is considered by almost half of survey respondents to be just as beneficial as donating blood. But the vast majority of people in the United States (96%), when surveyed, said that they had never considered participating in a phase 1 clinical trial or any other kind of clinical trial. While most clinical trials do provide some benefit for the participants, be it to their health or otherwise, it is important to consider the duration of medical research studies before beginning a trial. In part because of the increased dedication to thoroughness, the average length of a clinical trial has increased. In 1999, the average clinical trial lasted 460 days. Now, medical research studies are more than likely to last for more than 700 days.
There are different phases to a clinical trial, all lasting different amounts of time and requiring differing things of the trial participants. A phase one clinical trial, for example, usually involves a trial run for a new drug to see if there are any adverse side affects. These trials are usually relatively small, involving only twenty to eighty participants total. A phase two clinical trial tends to be larger, involving up to three hundred people in order to even more thoroughly evaluate the safety of a drug or treatment. Phase three trials administer said drug to up to 3,000 people and are more focused on confirming effectiveness, monitoring side effects, and comparing results to alternative treatments.