Why Clinical Research is Important
Clinical Research is one of the most important elements of PainDoctor.com
By Ryan Tapscott, Research Department
While there may always be debate nationally about whether healthcare should exist as a universal or private entity, we agree healthcare is a necessity. humanity depends upon, wants, and needs good healthcare without hesitation. As the healthcare industry develops and expands in various sectors, such as nursing, healthcare services and products, job opportunities broaden in response. such innovation is why healthcare is one of only a few industries that have continued to grow during the economic downturn in the United States.
Clinical research is regarded as one of the fastest growing sectors of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals; it is an imperative segment that supports growth in several divisions of the industry. Clinical research is considered a necessary component for these particular healthcare sectors to thrive because it provides insight into new medications and treatments for varied illnesses. Without research, the field would remain stagnant. The clinical research industry requires many spheres of professional collaboration. Such demand for new technologies, paired with professional collaboration, has created continuous growth in this industry – logically resulting in the continued creation of career opportunities.
Clinical research is unique in the need for collaboration of fields; to successfully conduct a clinical research trial, experts from many areas must work together. Such groups include but are not limited to: clinical research organizations, pharmaceutical sponsors, and physicians. Essential positions fulfilling these specific needs include: clinical research coordinators (CRC) and clinical research assistants (CRA). Then they work on research study teams with physicians. Clinical research requires successful integration of medicine and business by providing opportunities for employers, physicians, patients, and pharmaceutical and corporate research companies.
During the past 20 years, the science of performing clinical research has evolved. The pharmaceutical industry has seen mergers, acquisitions and layoffs. However, clinical research is thriving. Clinical research organizations (CRO) have seen consistent growth in revenue. As unemployment continues to rise, clinical research organizations are seeing the benefits of increased patient involvement. The following examples have been given by patients for their reasoning in participating in recent research:
- Participants gain access to new medicine, therapies, and/or medical devices before they are available to the public.
- Participants of clinical research are given an additional treatment option that may not otherwise exist.
- Investigational products may prove to be a more effective treatment than the current standard of care.
- Participants receive frequent and in depth individual medical attention from a research team of doctors, nurses, scientists, and other health professionals.
- Participants feel heroic for contributing to the advancement in the medicine.
When a patient chooses to participate in clinical research, he/she may receive the following services at no cost: medications, devices, supplies, medical exams, and laboratory and diagnostic tests. Patients may also receive compensation for their time and travel. A recent trend shows more patients are looking for ways to earn additional income.
Clinical research is essential to the development of new medications, new treatments, and new medical devices. Such trials may be categorized as one of the following:
- Treatment studies: Test new treatments, new combinations of drugs, or new approaches to surgery and/ or therapies, such as radiation or physical therapy.
- Prevention studies: Investigate better approaches to eliminate disease which may include medicines, vaccines, or lifestyle changes, among other things.
- Diagnostic studies: Evaluate and determine better methods of testing, or procedures for identifying a particular disease or condition.
- Screening studies: Investigate and determine the best way to detect certain diseases or health conditions.
- Quality of life studies (or supportive care studies): Explore and measure ways to improve the comfort and quality of life of people with a chronic illness.
Carefully conducted clinical research studies are seen as the fastest and safest way to find effective treatments, improve standards of care, and identify methods to improve health care. In the search to understand, prevent and treat disease, clinical studies involving volunteers of a vast variety of ailments play a vital role. Participating in clinical research is essential for the development of new medications and new treatments. Not only do participants experience full benefits at no personal expense, they also have the satisfaction of knowing that results from research studies may help others in the future.
Ryan Tapscott has more than 10 years of higher education and research experience in psychology, has been published in peer-reviewed journals, and has presented his research at numerous conferences. The recipient of teaching and mentoring excellence awards, he received his PhD from Iowa State University in Social Psychology.