Date: 17 March 2017
For Stuart Phillips, taking part in clinical trials is as much about the benefits to future generations as his own.
Stuart, one of a million patients recruited to clinical trials in primary care across the country, has a family history of high cholesterol, a leading cause of heart disease.
He said: “I’m only on statins now because someone took part in a clinical trial some years ago, so maybe my taking part in one will be of use to people in years to come.” The 40-year-old director of a financial advice firm, from Lincolnshire, enrolled on the OSLER2 trial on the advice of his local general practice.
Stuart said: “I lost my mother when she was 51 because of a heart attack, which is when I discovered I had very high cholesterol at a relatively young age. I’ve been on statins since I was diagnosed about 13 years ago, and it took a while to find the one which worked best for me on the correct dose.
“My GP told me about the OSLER2 trial about 18 months ago and I was happy to give it a go. Initially I did it for a year, and then carried on for a further six months. My participation in it ended in January.”
The purpose of the trial, sponsored by Amgen, is to find out more about an investigational product called evolocumab in people with high cholesterol.
The trial is looking at whether long-term treatment with evolocumab helps cholesterol move out of the bloodstream more efficiently than statins, and whether it causes any side effects in doing so.
Evolocumab works by blocking a cell protein called PCSK9, making the removal of cholesterol from the blood more efficient. Patients taking part in the trial do not know whether they are injecting the drug or a placebo.
Stuart had his injection fortnightly and continued to take statins for the duration of the trial. He added: “I’m not a big fan of needles but I let my kids give me the injection and they enjoyed it! It wasn’t difficult to do.
“I had no experience of being part of a clinical trial before but this was easy. And if the results of the trial help people in the future, then so much the better.
“Who knows? It may be that the results of this trial help my two children if they suffer from high cholesterol too.”
Delivery of the trial is supported by the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (CRN) Yorkshire and Humber, which supports researchers to deliver research in the NHS by providing trial infrastructure.
The CRN meets the costs of NHS staff that support research and provides specialist training so that patients can be confident that research is being delivered by trained, experienced front-line NHS staff.
The Network recently achieved the landmark of recruiting one million patients to clinical trials from primary care, including GP surgeries, pharmacists and dentists.
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