Register today for more information about clinical trials
Date : 2010-11-19
Author: Sumari Botha
What do the contents of your medicine cupboard have in common with each other? All those medicines, from the aspirin you occasionally take for a headache to the long-term treatments you may use for a condition such as diabetes, all had to go through various clinical trials before they landed on the shelves of your local pharmacy.
Participating in a clinical trial, not only assist the medical and pharmaceutical industries to research and analyze new medicines, but it benefits the patient in many ways. We will attempt to address all your questions about clinical trials here.
What is a clinical trial?
Following the laboratory testing of a new medicine, it must also be tested in human beings to establish that it is in fact both safe and effective in treating the intended condition. This process of testing medicines in human beings is known as a clinical trial.
Prior to every clinical trial, the local regulatory authorities of all participating countries review and approve the proposed protocol that explains exactly how it will be carried out. In South Africa, the Medicines Controls Council fulfills this role. It also assesses the scientific merit of the clinical trial. In addition, an independent Ethics Committee must approve the protocol for the trial to ensure that human rights are respected and that the rights of participating patients are not compromised in any way.