As the population is increasing day by day, so does the diseases, and thus the need for a cure is also increasing. And this is the scenario of almost all the countries in the whole world. In earlier times, doctors relied on their education and experience to take care of their patients. But with time, as more drugs and therapies are introduced, doctors needed to find a way to compare the medications and see which treatment worked better to cure a particular illness and disease. This emergency got resolved by the emergence of clinical trials during the mid-20th century.
Medicines are not made in a day. It includes long procedures for days, months, or even years and researchers with full dedication. Even after it is made, it does not go directly into the hands of needy people, rather it is tested very rigorously to know if it is safe and is really advantageous for the population that needs it. And the most important step to study the safety, efficacy, and side effects of a new medicine is carried out by clinical trials. Through the trials, researchers investigate medication efficacy, side effects, dosing, potency, and drug impact on the population. Clinical researchers closely monitor the participants for punctilious document finding which is irreplaceable in the drug approval process from the FDA and is mandatory before releasing any medication to the general public.
Clinical trials are very crucial for drug development and improvement of human health and clinical study outcomes are unpredictable. Researchers may have tested similar drugs and formulated hypotheses, but they can never know the effects of a treatment or medication without conducting studies. Along with testing new drugs and devices, the clinical trials also provide treatments to the patients on scientific basis. Clinical trials help to determine whether new medicine or treatment developed in the laboratory or by using animal models are safe or effective or whether any newly developed diagnostic test will work properly.
Advantages of Clinical Trials
- Clinical trials improve health care services by raising the standards of treatment
- Clinical trial leads to new treatments, which in turn helps people to live longer and to live a life with less pain or disability.
- Clinical trials allow testing as well as monitoring the effect of a medication or treatment on a large population to ensure that the improvement as a result of any medication or treatment is not for only one person but is for a large number of people.
- Researchers are not always lucky to obtain outcomes they predict, but the trial results still help the scientists to move in the correct direction.
- Clinical trials let the researchers to compare treatments that allow deciding which one is better for the patients.
- Participants get access to promising new treatments which are not available outside the clinical trial boundaries.
- Participants get the chance to be the first to get benefit from a new method under study.
- Participants get the chance to play an active role in their own health care and clearly understand their disease or condition.
- Participants are closely monitored, advised, cared and supported by a research team of doctors and other health care professionals
- Participants get the opportunity to help society by contributing to medical research.
- Even if the participants are not directly benefited from the clinical trial, the information gained and gathered add up to the scientific knowledge and may be helpful for others.
- Clinical trials can be a valuable treatment alternative, especially for patients with advanced or hard-to-treat diseases like cancers that have not responded to previous or current treatments.
Disadvantages of clinical trials
- There may be side effects
- The new treatment may not be better than the standard treatment
- The trial site may not be available at a convenient location.
- The clinical trial duration may be more than the non clinical trial treatments like hospital stays, more clinical trial site visits etc.
Clinical trials have more advantages in comparison to the disadvantages and the modern medical treatments for diseases like cancer, cardiac disease, asthma, high blood pressure, and many other medical conditions have been developed through clinical trials.