Last Updated on May 17, 2023
International Clinical Trials Day 2023
We celebrate International Clinical Trials Day on May 20 every year. It is a chance for the clinical research community to pause in contemplation to admire the progress of clinical trials and appreciate the individuals who work on them. It also aims to increase public awareness and education about clinical trials and promote their importance while encouraging participation.
This blog explores the history and significance of clinical trials and the objectives of International Clinical Trials Day 2023. Let’s celebrate International Clinical Trials Day on May 20 in a spirit of unity and a pledge to go even further.
Importance of International Clinical Trials Day 2023 in Medical Research
Clinical trials are an essential component of medical research. They provide evidence-based data on the safety and efficacy of new treatments and therapies. Clinical trials also help to identify potential side effects, which can aid informed treatment and therapy decisions. Regulatory agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), use clinical trial results to approve new treatments and therapies for use in patients.
How Did International Clinical Trials Day 2023 Come This Far?
If we want to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day on May 20, we must first understand the history of clinical trials and how we came to where we are today.
1747: Dr. James Lind’s scurvy trial laying down the foundation
Dr. James Lind conducted what is widely regarded as the first modern controlled clinical study in search of a viable therapy for scurvy. In 1747, he encountered the disease while at work as a surgeon on a ship. Every year we celebrate International Clinical Trials Day on May 20 to honor the day Dr. Lind started the experiment.
He separated a group of people with scurvy into distinct groups and had each group follow a different regimen. During this study, he discovered that oranges and lemons (vitamin C sources) bore the best results, paving the way for sailors to avoid scurvy in the future.
This was an important development and we celebrate this on International Clinical Trials Day 2023.
The 1800s: First ever documented placebo
Placebos are an effective tool in clinical trials, making it simpler to analyze the true impact of medications. The phrase first appeared in print in the early 1800s, in the 1811 edition of Hooper’s Medical Dictionary. The earliest documented use of a placebo in a clinical experiment, however, was in 1863, when Dr. Austin Flint oversaw a 13-person trial for rheumatism that included a placebo.
Learning about these important events tells us why we should celebrate International Clinical Trials Day on May 20.
1938: The introduction of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
Following the Sulfa Craze of 1937, when sulfonamide drugs were mass-produced without oversight, resulting in 107 deaths. The government replaced the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938. It outlined the requirements for new drugs to ensure their safety before being released to the market.
1943: The First documented Double-Blind Clinical Trial
The Medical Research Council (MRC) in the United Kingdom conducted the first double-blind clinical trial in search of a treatment for the common cold. Strict criteria ensured that neither the treating physician nor the patient knew the target treatment. While the study did not provide an effective treatment option, it did lay the groundwork for double-blind clinical trials. Thus it is something to be remembered on International Clinical Trials Day 2023.
1946: First Randomized Curative Trial
The first randomized curative controlled clinical trial did not take place until 1946. The MRC carried out a highly systematic streptomycin trial. It employed allocation concealment and objective monitoring techniques to improve the quality of the data collected. While the strategy deviated from current norms, it quickly became the framework for future clinical trials. Therefore it gives us another reason to Celebrate International Clinical Trials Day on May 20.
1947: Nuremberg Code
The Nazis conducted horrific, unscientific, and non-consensual experiments on prisoners during World War II. During the Nuremberg Trials, a separate “Doctor’s Trial” was held for physicians who carried out the experiments.
Dr. Leo Alexander presented a list of six points, which were later increased to ten, which provided guidelines for genuine medical research and also provided the “War Crimes Counsel” with a foundation for evaluating the actions of the physicians. These points became known as the Nuremberg Code, and they resulted in an official, widely accepted set of guidelines for what medical research should and should not include. Some of the points include the ability for patients to withdraw from studies as well as no unnecessary physical or mental harm. These points were an important landmark and something to celebrate on International Clinical Trials Day 2023.
Clinical Trial Phases to Keep in Mind on International Clinical Trials Day 2023
Before the approval of a new treatment for widespread public use, each clinical trial has to pass through certain stages. It is a good idea to have basic knowledge of the phases of clinical trials on International Clinical Trials Day 2023. The four fundamental stages of any clinical trial are:
It focuses on determining the safety of new treatments or medications, as well as their toxicity and dosage requirements.
The trial’s second stage focuses on performing a preliminary verification of the medication’s or treatment’s efficacy. The primary focus of phase 2 clinical trials is on a larger audience (up to 300 individuals). This phase aims to test the treatment tolerance of more people.
The number of participants has to be raised once again, this time testing the drug on more than 300 individuals. This phase of a clinical trial evaluates both safety and efficacy parameters. Upon clearance of the set criteria, the study drug will proceed forward for commercialization.
This stage begins after the drug has been approved for distribution and marketing and is to be used by the common man. This phase detects safety and adverse effects on a large scale. It also continues to monitor the long-term side effects of the drugs.
Objectives of International Clinical Trials Day 2023
The purpose of International Clinical Trials Day 2023 is to raise public awareness regarding clinical trials and let them know how clinical trials can improve health outcomes. It is also an opportunity to recognize and acknowledge the contribution of healthcare workers, including researchers and paramedical staff, to the advancement of medical science. This day provides a platform for healthcare organizations like Minerva Research Solutions to educate the public about clinical trials.
The Theme of International Clinical Trials Day 2023
International Clinical Trial Day 2023 will focus on the challenges and opportunities of new developments in the clinical research arena, including decentralized clinical trials. Consequently, this year’s theme for International Clinical Trials Day 2023 is “Decentralized Clinical Trials: Challenges and Opportunities“.
Decentralized clinical trials are a modern revolution in the world of healthcare. It enables easier patient access through the use of digital technology. COVID-19 also helped recognize the need for the implementation of this strategy. Many stakeholders, including regulatory bodies, are working to develop and recommend best practices to safeguard participants’ rights and data.
This theme highlights the effectiveness of clinical trials and their impact on advancing medical research and improving healthcare outcomes. It also emphasizes the importance of continuous improvement in clinical trial design and the need to address the challenges faced by clinical trials.
Without the dedication of clinical researchers and other professionals, therapeutic advancements would not have been possible.
Therefore, International Clinical Trials Day 2023 presents a perfect opportunity to appreciate the tireless work of all the people who have contributed to this noble cause. Clinical trials are imperative for evaluating the safety and efficacy of new treatments and therapies and informing decisions about their use.
So let’s celebrate International Clinical Trials Day 2023 on May 20 as an opportunity to recognize the importance of clinical trials in advancing medical research and improving healthcare outcomes for all.
Happy International Clinical Trials Day 2023 from Minerva Research Solutions