The case for patient studies

August 7, 2013

Healthy Life


Patient Studies

Patient Studies

The overarching aim of an early phase study is to undertake research that will lead to improved health and longer life for everyone. Its other goals are to eradicate disease and improve the quality of life for all while minimising the side effects.

Patient studies or clinical trials as they are sometimes known involve thorough research and certain steps must be followed and many hurdles overcome to ensure the safety and efficacy of the medication.

For any medication to have reached this stage of research, it would have gone through extensive testing and compared with similar medications during research. It would also have been the subject of numerous studies over a number of years and physicians and scientists would have been able to observe its effects in a controlled setting before reaching pharmacy shelves.

However, there has been a lot of controversy around patient studies and the biggest concern is the control exerted on clinical trials by sponsors. This has been particularly around contracts which allow sponsors to review the studies before publication and allows them to withhold publication.

There are dangers also associated with patient studies and these include having a serious and even life threatening effect from the treatment. Despite the rigorous research and testing that goes into each treatment, there are still risks to it because it is largely unproven and hasn’t been tested in humans before.

Other risks are that the treatment may not be effective on all individuals and the results may be inconclusive. Also the study takes up a lot of time and it’s common for patients to be at a treatment centre for 40 days.

However, the benefits of Early Phase Patient Studies overall cannot be overstated. Through these trials many diseases and illnesses that were endemic have been virtually eradicated and quality of life has been improved for millions who at first had little hope. Diseases like cancer can now be controlled and sufferers can lead normal lives even if cures don’t yet exist.

People who take part in patient studies are often patients themselves and they benefit from receiving medication that would be otherwise unavailable. However, in the early stages, participants are usually healthy individuals who receive financial incentives for their inconvenience.

The drugs provided in a clinical trial are also provided at no cost to the patients. So patients who are struggling financially to get the treatment they need should consider enrolling in a clinical trial in order to access the medication that may help them.

Some patients facing imminent death can also take part in a patient study which can give them hope after all else has failed. The risks to this are much lower and the benefit to them and others is that they can see instantly if the treatment works or not.

There are many other benefits to taking part in a patient study and some of them include having access to a new treatment centre which is not yet available to the public and helping others by contributing to medical research. Visit for more information about Patient Studies.

The case for patient studies

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