Why is clinical research important? Polio has been all but eradicated. Likewise, measles and tuberculosis are much less of a threat than they used to be. As Policy & Medicine explains, none of these dreaded diseases simply faded away on their own. Each one’s power to cause death and harm through unimpeded infection was halted by the efforts of medical science. In the case of polio, it was a randomized trial of the Salk polio vaccine in school children, which was followed by additional trials of oral vaccines. For measles, research studies lead to the development of a vaccine. With tuberculosis, clinical research set the stage for the policies that are still used today.
Clearly, clinical research makes a difference. Consider how many lives were saved with just the work done on polio, measles, and tuberculosis. Think about the number of people shielded from a chronic disability. Reflect on the emotional impact on their family and friends. Of course, clinical research doesn’t just focus on just these three conditions. Its impact is much farther reaching. There are many reasons why clinical research is important work.
Why Is Clinical Research Important?
It provides new tools for better healthcare.
Why is clinical research important for basic, everyday healthcare? It provides a way to test ideas under controlled conditions and study information to look for patterns. Over time, these efforts can lead to new tools for physicians that improve the quality of care. As the Foundation to Fight H-ABC reports, discoveries made through clinical research include the following:
- Improved medical procedures and policies
- Treatments for diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other conditions
- Diagnostic tests like X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans
It has a big impact.
Many people have a story about a doctor who has made a difference for them or a family member. Consider how many patients a single doctor can see in a day. Now, think about how many people a drug, diagnostic tool, or test can help. It takes a massive amount of work to bring any medical drug or device through the clinical research study process. There is a huge focus on safety, and rigorous rules are in place to protect the participants and the integrity of any studies. However, the potential to have a positive impact is real, and that impact can be huge.
It tests for safety.
Before a new product is released, it must go through multiple phases of testing. In many cases, it’s tested under different conditions. This might include varying dosages, different groups, or being taken with or without food. Some tests may be blinded (a tenet of randomized controlled trials that the treatment allocation for each patient is not revealed until the patient has irrevocably been entered into the trial, to avoid selection bias). Many will have a control group. All of the results will be scrutinized closely before researchers move on to the next step. This type of research takes time, but it helps to ensure that the products released to the public are safe and effective.
It gathers information.
Not all clinical research is designed to test a product or drug. Some observational studies gather information about people with a specific condition or follow a group across a period of time to gain information about behavior and health. The information gathered by researchers can be used to shape future research and develop upcoming treatments.
It removes bias.
Doctors are people. Like everyone else, they develop habits and favorites. That can make it difficult to truly know which drugs are really the best for an individual’s needs. Clinical research reduces guesswork by providing clear, unbiased evidence that medical professionals can refer to when they need to decide on treatment options.
Clinical research is a key part of the healthcare community. The individuals who step up to participate in research studies are vital. Their efforts help fuel advancements that can save lives.
Have you ever thought about participating in a clinical research study? You could be a part of history! QPS Missouri is looking for new participants. Since opening its doors in 1994, QPS Missouri has conducted more than 1,000 FDA-regulated studies, paying out nearly $50 million to local participants. Your local participation could have a global impact, as QPS is an international leader in contract research with facilities in North America, Europe, and Asia. Our mission is to accelerate the development of drugs worldwide by enabling breakthroughs in pharmaceutical innovation. This includes several pediatric studies across several age ranges. If you would like to join us in this crucial healthcare mission, consider applying for a clinical research study.
To get started, you simply need to fill out an online application. After that, within 48 business hours, a recruiting coordinator will contact you for your pre-screening assessment. To learn more, please visit the QPS Missouri website, review the study participation process, or check out our list of frequently asked questions.