We live in a fast-paced world; a world where new technology and innovation develops in rapid succession. We are always seeking the “latest and greatest” in technology. Intertwined in this world of technology and innovation, lies the world of clinical research. People who are ill or disease-ridden have faith and hope that a miracle cure or life saving device is just around the corner. But what happens when society as a whole loses faith in clinical research? Who will volunteer for research studies when trust in the system fails?
Researchers know that at the basis of clinical research lies the inherent burden to protect the rights, safety and welfare of all subjects who have agreed to participation. It is imperative that subject’s have some degree of confidence that their rights, safety and welfare are at the fore front of any clinical research study. In order to keep public trust in the safety and efficacy of clinical trials, stricter policies on clinical oversight are warranted.
Often times, the public is made aware of only the negative effects of research. It is often years before the positive results of such trials are brought into the public eye by mass media. However, the truth is, almost all life-saving drugs and devices are available to people today because of clinical trials.
In an article published in American Society of Clinical Oncology, the following elements were listed as essential to ensure public trust in clinical trials:
- Ensure safety precautions for clinical trial participants and their fully informed consent
- Ensure the validity and integrity of scientific research
- Enhance the educational training of clinical scientist and research staff to maximize standards of research conduct
- Promote accountability among all those involved in clinical research
- Promote professional and public understanding of clinical research
Through a well-developed plan to promote and educate society regarding clinical research and to ensure that all clinical trials are conducted with the utmost integrity, we can once again allow the public to have confidence and an eagerness to be part of ground breaking science. In order for this to occur, researchers must guarantee that they are placing the rights, safety and welfare of their subjects above all other aspects of the clinical trial.
Have you experienced a decline in the amount of subjects who participate in clinical research? How can we regain the public’s trust in clinical trials? Share your thoughts below.
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