Pharmacists and Clinical Trials

By Professor Jayne Lawrence, Chief Scientist, Royal Pharmaceutical Society and Dr Rachel Joynes, Head of Research and Evaluation  

Today is International Clinical Trials Day (ICTD). Now in its 11th year, ICTD is celebrated around the world to commemorate the day James Lind started his famous clinical trial on scurvy. The day is an opportunity for organisations and clinical research professionals to discuss the benefits that involvement and engagement in research can bring. But what role do pharmacists play in clinical trials? And what opportunities are there to engage?  Read more Pharmacists and Clinical Trials

Adaptive clinical trials – could patients benefit?

Photo - Liz Allen

by Liz Allen, Visiting Professor, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King’s College London and Quintiles, Early Clinical Development

What is a clinical trial?
Clinical trials are studies designed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of potential new medicines. Clinical trials are divided into four phases (Phase I, II, III and real world late phase studies sometime called Phase IV).

Phase 1 requires a small number of subjects, usually healthy volunteers though more recently such studies involve small numbers of patients. As the development moves from phase to phase increasingly large numbers of patients become involved and the cost escalates. It is estimated that about 40% to 50% of drugs that enter phase III studies will fail, by which point a pharmaceutical company will have invested close to one billion pounds. Read more Adaptive clinical trials – could patients benefit?

How are new medicines developed?

Simon MacKay compressed for webBy Simon MacKay, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde.

Every day we see stories in the media about new drug discoveries.  Medicines have revolutionised the treatment of disease, reduced the need for hospitalisation and surgery, and improved the quality of life of patients. Pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists are central to the discovery of new drugs and the development of new medicines for the treatment of many conditions. But how do new medicines get discovered in the first place? Read more How are new medicines developed?