Today starts off the beginning of Clinical Trials Awareness Week, which shines a spotlight on how the clinical trials process helps deliver safe, effective medicines to patients.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of clinical trials are ongoing or underway and in the first four months of 2017 alone the number of clinical studies registered has already surpassed the total number registered in 2016, according to Clinicaltrials.gov. These trials are essential to study the benefits and potential risks of new medicines. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration rely on this data to determine whether a new medicine is safe and effective.
Despite the significant breadth and depth of clinical research ongoing in the U.S., many people don’t know the important, life-saving impact these studies have on patients every day. For example, every time you take a medicine – even if it’s just for a headache – you’re benefiting from the knowledge gained from clinical trials.
In addition to patient health, clinical trials are contributing to local economies across the country. The biopharmaceutical industry is responsible for the vast majority of clinical researching, accounting for roughly 90 percent of all spending on clinical trials of medicines and medical devices. In 2013 alone, for example, more than 1 million participants were volunteering in clinical studies across the country.
Industry-funded clinical trials are conducted with careful oversight and are typically in collaboration with a broad range of local institutions, including academic medical research centers, contract research organizations, university medical and pharmacy schools, hospitals, and foundations.
Perhaps no partner is more critical to the R&D process than patients, and our nation’s innovative biopharmaceutical companies are increasingly seeking to incorporate the patient perspective throughout all elements of the R&D process. To those patients who have participated in clinical trials, we say thank you. You have helped spur research and advance science for the betterment of future patients.
We are excited to celebrate Clinical Trials Awareness Week and encourage you to learn more about clinical trials and their impact on patients here.
Andrew Powaleny Andrew Powaleny is Director of Public Affairs at PhRMA. Before joining PhRMA in 2015, he worked at the House Energy and Commerce Committee and later as a communications consultant. Andrew came to Washington, D.C. via Connecticut and proudly sings with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, runs with the DC Front Runners and serves on the Alumni Council for The Fund for American Studies. He is also a member of the National Lesbian Gay Journalists Association and the proud father of his poodle-beagle mix Molly.