Bristol man’s life saved by clinical trial

Clinical trials are vital for the development of medicine and medical treatment, and every year thousands of men and women take part in studies that basically test the safety and suitability of things such as new drugs, supplements, and medical aids or devices.

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TQT studies are organised by specialist companies, with most run in one of a dozen different ways. Some are large scale, others small; they may involve completely healthy subjects, include some people with a pre-existing condition, or be a mixture of the two. Regardless, the one thing that remains consistently apparent is that the majority of participants get involved – at least to some extent – because they are interested in being paid to help develop the field of medicine and drug therapy.

How clinical trials work

Participants may register to be part of a panel, to be called upon when a suitable trial is available; alternatively, they may be recruited specifically – say due to a current health condition that qualifies them to be included. Strict monitoring and supervision occurs to ensure the safety of those involved and the integrity of the outcomes.

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Dramatic outcomes

Sometimes the results for participants can be newsworthy, largely because they provide unexpected respite from a serious condition. For 70-year-old Mel Reynolds, however, the result of a test during his participation in a clinical trial for a new diabetes drug were also life-saving.

As a long-time diabetic, Reynolds was monitored once a year by his GP; however, as part of the trial, this was increased to every three months and it was one of these extra blood tests that revealed cause for concern. Tumours were found on his liver, yet he had had no idea or other symptoms. Thankfully the early intervention led to prompt treatment and a full recovery. As a sign of his gratitude, Reynolds plans to continue to participate in medical studies organised by professionals in the field, such as, whenever possible.

There is no doubt that Reynolds’ life was saved by being part of the trial testing the suitability of a new diabetes drug for those with cardiovascular issues. His wife was once reluctant to have him participate in these tests, but now they are both grateful for the trial that saved his life.