The importance of scientific testing and clinical trials can be seen in the results. Take cases of Hepatitis C, for instance. It was once a disease that, once contracted, would need to be managed for the rest of the patients life. Now however, thanks to drug testing and clinical trials, it can be cured in up to ninety five percent of patients in less than twelve weeks. Throughout the clinical trial process, from phase 1 clinical trials to clinical trials in their final phases (typically phase 4), new innovations and discoveries are being made in the medical field and giving more and more people a second chance at the kind of life that they want to lead.
The process of clinical trials can typically be broken down into four separate stages. The first, phase 1 clinical trials, is to begin assessing the effects – both negative and positive – of a drug or a treatment. Phase 1 clinical trials tend to be testing the smallest group of people. A phase 2 clinical trial incorporates more people, as do a phase 3 clinical trial and a phase 4 clinical trial, which is typically the final stage of testing. To break it down more simply, a phase 1 clinical trial is looking at the results for human use of the drug or treatment, while a phase 2 clinical trial is more focused on the effectiveness of the drug or treatment at actually treating the disease or condition. A phase 1 clinical trial will typically contain around twenty to eighty participants, while a phase 2 clinical trial will contain more, as many as three hundred. Phase 3 as well as phase 4 of a clinical trial are geared more at assessing the safety, both short and long term, of the drug or the treatment. The third phase a clinical trial is large, containing any number of people from one thousand participants to three thousand. For every participant, it is crucial that informed consent is given (in the case of a minor, informed consent must be given by a parent or guardian). From alzheimers research studies to diabetes clinical trials, clinical trials have been instrumental in new and groundbreaking findings in the medical field. For oncology patients, those who have been diagnosed with cancer, phase 1 clinical trials often represent a renewed hope as the overall estimation of success is greater than twenty percent, whereas typical oncology drugs have a success rate of less than five percent.
Medical research studies in all stages, from a phase 1 clinical trial to phase 2 clinical trials, are both common and necessary in the United States (as well as in many other places around the world). Every drug, over the counter or prescription, must be tested through the clinical trial process before it can be safely sold and consumed. In fact, of the one hundred thousand over the counter medication currently available in the United States, every single one had to go through the process of the clinical trial, from phase 2 clinical trials to the final stage, typically phase 4. Clinical study and clinical drug development are deeply important, as it is what leads us to breakthroughs in modern medicine. Many diseases that were once virtually untreatable now have definable courses of treatment and good outcomes thanks to clinical trials and drug testing. And clinical trials can often represent a final hope for terminal patients, such as cancer patients, as clinical trials can have an even greater effect than the currently prescribed oncology drugs.