Critical Need in Research

Clinical research in medicine is what ensures that healthcare continues to improve - that new treatments, vaccines and cures are discovered and our quality and length of life are strengthened.

Right now there are approximately 80,000 clinical trials underway in the US alone and several thousand are likely ongoing in Canada as well. All with the goal of learning more about new or existing treatments for virtually every ailment.

Millions of North American citizens are needed to participate as study subjects in these trials before new drugs can be approved or existing ones used for new purposes.

Unfortunately, more than half of all studies experience delays in getting the number of participants they need. This sets the research back an average of between one and six months, which slows down new drug approvals and the speed with which newer and more effective treatments are available to patients.

So why do only 10% of people with severe, life-threatening or chronic illnesses consider participating in clinical research?

According to recent polls of health care consumers, the most common reason for not participating in a trial is that the individual was unable to find a trial in which to participate. For a variety of reasons, people are not getting the necessary information about ongoing studies of their condition and in their region.

Despite a lack of awareness about ongoing studies, 60% of health care consumers said they would be willing to participate in trials if they knew about them.

The reality is that most people do not readily think of clinical research as a treatment option and primary caregivers - family physicians and nurses - typically do not suggest or recommend clinical trial participation except in cases of severe, life-threatening illness.

However, if new treatments are valued and expected by the public, it is important to consider clinical research participation as an option and another way to get quality care.

In a research setting, not only do patients benefit from cutting edge treatments, but they get immediate access to specialist services that often entail a wait of six months or more in the public setting.

Research volunteers are not rushed at appointments and treatments and medications used during the study are paid for by the study with no effect on regular or extended health plans.

Aside from these benefits, research volunteers get the altruistic chance to help advance medical knowledge. Since trials are required by law for every new treatment, participation is needed if anything new is to be developed.

All potential risks and benefits of study participation are explained in detail before participants agree to take part and participants are also free to leave a study at any time and for any reason if they decide they no longer wish to be involved.

If you are interested in learning about local ongoing studies but haven't heard about them from your doctor, take a proactive approach. Ask. Doctors are typically very busy people and this topic might not be a priority for them. If you bring it up, your doctor will likely do what he or she can to assist you.

If your doctor is not aware or if you would like to pursue this on your own, look for ads in the newspaper or browse the internet for local studies. You may be surprised at how easy they can be to find.

Currently, we have ongoing studies in diabetes, insomnia, cholesterol, pain due to shingles and depression and we are only one of several research sites in Kelowna.

 

Current Studies

 Alzheimer's 

 Crohn's 

 Insomnia

 Migraine

 Narcolepsy

 Parkinson's 

  Ulcerative Colitis

 

 

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 Interested in participating? Call us for more information!

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