Who Conducts the Studies?

clinicaltrials9Something new doesn`t always signify something better. As with anything new on the market, there is a battery of tests that it must first undergo before being unveiled to the public. In terms of drugs, devices or health-related products, those specific items undergo even more rigorous testing than your average item. The process in which this is carried out is known as a “clinical study”. A clinical study is a period of different phases in which the item in question is tested to various degrees, from research to human or animal studies, to an ever expanding test group until the product is made publically accessible.

The studies themselves are conducted by interested parties in seeing their idea come to fruition in the general public through many steps and testing phases. Generally, the company or individuals themselves are thoroughly involved in the product testing from start to finish, and will be somewhat responsible for the clinical study itself. In terms of “who conducts the study itself”, the situation comes down to what the product, drug, or device is that is being subjected to testing.

                  A clinical study is necessary in the advancement of many different drugs, devices or products, and therefore can be conducted by many different individuals or agencies for many different reasons. The reason for (and governing body conducting) the study will establish what the testing is, where it will take place, and how long it will last. As well as the governing body, and the test subjects, the study will generally include a research team which can comprise of doctors, nurses, health-care professionals or social workers.

As each clinical study has a governing body, each also has a source of funding or sponsors, such as Universities, Hospitals, clinics, or pharmaceutical companies. As well a study may be funded by such federal agencies as the:

National Institutes of Health

U.S. Department of Defense

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Sole physicians or other individuals may also fund clinical studies. Depending on the want or need of the company funding will also decide who is conducting the study itself.

For instance:

A pharmaceutical company creates a new drug that they feel could effectively combat the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, approaching the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, it is decided that they will fund the clinical trials of that drug. The pharmaceutical company contacts the board of a veteran’s hospital to determine fitting test subjects who would be ideal candidates, and trials will begin at the hospital itself with a research team comprised of hospital staff members, members of the pharmaceutical company, and report it’s findings to the sponsor as they progress. After extensive study to see if the drug is actually effective, and progressing through the phases of clinical trials, the drug will eventually be either discontinued or brought to the market as determined by it’s efficacy.

Clinical studies are a vitally important step in seeing a product come to fruition, and by partaking in the study, you are aiding those who put their belief, effort, and finances into their project. Whether a new cold medicine or a potential cure for cancer, each product must see through their testing phase from start to finish.