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News: Developing best treatments means patient involvement every step of the way

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Developing best treatments means patient involvement every step of the way  

News Title

Developing best treatments means patient involvement every step of the way  

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It takes on average 17 years for an idea which might improve health to change clinical practice. That’s a heck of long time and costs a lot of money.  Of course, it’s necessary – I’m certainly not going to swallow a pill that hasn’t been rigorously tested. How could we make the whole process much more efficient? By working with the very patients we are trying to help and seeing them as collaborators in our research, not just the end user.

Our essential tool as scientists is the clinical trial. It tells us whether a new treatment has more benefits than side effects, and whether the benefits and cost compare favourably to current treatments. It takes time and money but when it reaches the NHS, we know that it makes a difference to patients’ lives.

To produce meaningful results, trials have to involve a certain number of participants. But, more than a third of clinical trials fail to reach their target, so researchers have to ask for more time, more money or both. Trials can end up taking twice as long as long as they should because of this.

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News Date

13/09/2013 

Expires

13/11/2013 

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Created at 13/09/2013 12:14  by Craig Biggs 
Last modified at 13/09/2013 15:18  by Craig Biggs