Every major breakthrough in modern medicine has only been rendered valid and applicable when tested and experienced by human patients. Whether it’s advancements in gene therapy, oncology, heart disease, diabetes, or any other disease states, these progressions are only as valid as their positive effects in human application. Clinical trials have become the principal venues through which these medicinal breakthroughs are made and have become a pillar of medication development in every area of specialization.
Data from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) indicates that 14 percent of all drugs in clinical trials eventually win approval from the FDA — a much higher percentage than previously thought. Let’s examine some of the reasons why clinical trials are so important and their impact on the development of lifesaving medications for all types of diseases.
They Put Patient Safety First
While patient safety was initially a challenge in the clinical trial paradigm, multiple regulatory and clinical safeguards have since been enacted to ensure the utmost precautions. The Food and Drug Administration also acts a watch dog for approval, trial progress and any unforeseen difficulties that may emerge throughout the process. Rules for clinical trials are initially established by Institutional Review Boards (IRB), and government organizations like the FDA, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and Data and Safety Monitoring Boards (DSMB). These panels are made up of experts who are acutely familiar with the disease state for which the medication is being developed and can provide informed, safe and expert guidance.
They Offer A Controlled Environment for Adverse Reactions
The reality of clinical trials is that they’re just that, trials. Many patients will experience moderate to more severe adverse reactions to the medications they’re taking in conjunction with the study. Clinical trials provide a safety-net framework that allows these issues to be addressed immediately to mitigate the prospect of patient risk. On a macro note, in identifying these adverse reactions, study practitioners are able to determine possible risks for use of the drug in a broad range of patient categories to help provide comprehensive and true reporting and guide patients in their decision making.
Additional Benefits of Clinical Trials in the Advancement
Clinical trials unquestionably better equip patients to take a more active role in their care. It not only allows them to be the first to take a potentially promising medication; it also allows them to maintain frequency of appointments, get consistent and contextually relevant information on the progression of their condition, and regularly engage with support resources to which they may not otherwise have access.
Potential Cures and Therapeutics
In addition to actively exploring medication-based cures for diseases, clinical trials can be an effective mechanism for identifying quality-of-life enhancers that make living with certain conditions easier. For example, they can help someone manage chronic pain, arthritis, joint pain, sleep disorder, and other types of conditions that can make life difficult for patients who experience them in their everyday lives.
Access to Care to Those with Limited Resources
Clinical trials require certain baseline diagnostic testing and consultation prior to enrollment. The reality for many is that they simply don’t have the resources to regularly get the necessary testing or regularly engage with their care providers in a meaningful way. Clinical trials can provide patients with limited means a way to start getting the care they need by providing testing, doctor visits and follow-ups.
Facilitating Access to Clinical Trials for Eligible Patients
One of the disadvantages of the clinical trial paradigm is that it, in the past, it has been difficult for patients to access these trials. There is often a disconnect between patients and study organizers which leads to lower rates of enrollment. These delays can be especially destabilizing in the oncology landscape with such time-sensitive cases.
GoMo Health, The National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR), and AIM-HI are partnering to streamline access to clinical trials in patients’ specific locales and all over the world in an effort to reduce the anxiety, stress, and confusion that discourages them from seeking potentially viable clinical trials. Patients will be individually nurtured through each step of the study with messages and support to help manage expectations regarding what to expect, what’s required of them, recommendations for success, and tools for empowerment to self-manage physical and psychological impact and improve outlook. It’s all a part of our guiding principles, which define our mission of providing a system of direct-delivered resources to patients in their moment of need.
Research for a Cure Patient Hub
Learn more about the Research for a Cure Patient Hub today and find a trial that can benefit you or your loved one.