Clinical trials occur every day and often require the participation of willing, consenting test subjects in their trials. In fact, informed consent is so important that the American Psychological Association has an entire revised section dedicated to discussing the importance of informed consent, 8.02. But what is informed consent? Informed consent is when researchers take the necessary measures to ensure the participants of their trials understand and agree to everything that will be expected of the over the course of the trial. Children are no exception. In fact, if a trial requires the use of children under the age of 18, the researchers are required by law to obtain the parental consent of the child.
Just what are clinical trials, though, and why are they so beneficial? Clinical trials and other types of medical research studies are important because they help make advances in the healthcare system. About 46 percent of trial participants agree that clinical trials, like a phase 1 clinical trial, play an integral role in the healthcare system, and are just as valuable as giving blood.
The phase 1 clinical trial isn’t the only type of clinical study out there. In fact, there are multiple phases, such as phase II trials, phase III trials, and more, and they all have their differences. For instance, a phase 1 clinical trial is when researchers test experimental drugs or treatments on small groups of subjects to evaluate and identify any side effects. Phase II trials are administered to larger groups to determine the effectiveness of a drug or treatment, and phase III treatments are administered to even larger groups of people in an effort to confirm a drug or treatment’s effectiveness, monitor side effects, and collect notes that will eventually allow the experimental treatment or drug to be used on a larger scale. Upon completion of phase IV trials, the drug or treatment can be approved by the NDA and go on the market.
Clinical trials and clinical drug development have been around for a long time, and they have truly played an important role in the discovery of countless useful drugs and treatments, such as cancer treatments. Without clinical trials, our healthcare system would not be nearly as powerful and healing as it is today.