Clinical research is conducted by pharmaceutical companies and medical faculties at universities worldwide. Most research is focused on creating and improving medicines, but the University of Reading is taking a different approach in that they are contributing to the efficiency and efficacy of clinical research.
The pharmaceutical industry in the UK is massive, contributing not only to the health and wellbeing of the nation, but massively to the economy, with more than a £2.8 billion trade surplus in 2013. Being this important to the nation, though, little is known about it.
So how is clinical research conducted, and what is the University of Reading contributing?
How Are Clinical Trials Conducted?
Once a novel treatment is developed through research or experimentation, it must go through a series of clinical trials in order to insure its safety and efficacy. These Paid Medical Trials are conducted with large groups of patients, either volunteers or individuals with particular conditions who ‘opt in’ and fit the criteria.
Clinical trials traditionally go through three phases and are conducted either by the research group or by a third party such as Paid Medical Trials from Trials 4 Us who conduct a variety of different studies.
What is the University of Reading Contributing?
As stated, the University of Reading is conducting research into the methodology of conducting clinical trials.
Currently, clinical trials are prohibitively expensive and can delay drugs coming to market by many years. More recently, there has been a push toward adaptive clinical trials – that is trials that observe the effects and outcomes of the drugs constantly, and modify their parameters in accordance to those outcomes, allowing them to potentially save time and money.
Reading is looking into methods that would take the adaptive mindset a bit further, allowing organisations to run multiple trial phases simultaneously, as well as modify the cohorts in trials, the endpoints, and even the methods of treatments without entirely invalidating the study. This would allow companies to bring new treatments for all manner of illness to market much more quickly and cost-effectively without compromising patient or public safety.
Clinical research is incredibly important, not only to the UK economically, but also to the NHS, and even to health in the wider world. Advances in clinical research, therefore, contribute not only economically, but in allowing new treatments to reach patients more quickly, to the public good.