The secret world of clinical trials

In a world of constantly evolving medicine, clinical trials are an essential part of progress. These trials are done on humans after a period of animal testing, and the people that volunteer for the trials entrust that they can assist in progress. If the trial for a new cancer drug is available, patients volunteer themselves in the hope that they can have their recovery assisted as well as assist in medical advancement.


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We don’t see much in the news about clinical trials and clinical trial assistants are always being recruited to help in blind trials and helping volunteers through. There currently is not a law in the UK that insists a clinical trials company publishes trial results and this may be another thing changing about medical evolution.

Campaign 4 change

There is an EU Directive that may be enforced in 2017 or 2018 which will change the current legislation. If the UK remains a part of the EU, this directive will be enforced. Campaigners who have believed for a long time that withholding clinical trial results violates the trust of its participants will be pleased with this news.

According to an article published by the World Health Organisation, there has been a call for increased transparency in medical research, particularly clinical trials. They feel the people need to know what trials are happening, when they happen and the outcome of the trials. They believe that the failure to tell the public the results of clinical trials ensures misinformation. The clinical trial assistants on each trial witness everything from research and development and when recruited should keep the information of clinical trials private.

Privacy changes medicine

Sometimes it is easy to wonder whether clinical trials companies have their own priorities and business image to protect by keeping a clinical trial and its results secret. Companies such as recruit research assistants to help with clinical trials and there is extensive non-disclosure agreements that must be signed first before working.

We are all very aware of the Data Protection Act and what privacy means for patients. There is a line to draw as to whether it would be in the public interest to hear about the result of clinical trials whether successful or not. If it is not in the interest of the public, then companies prefer not to publish results.

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