A drug needs to pass quite a few hurdles before it gets to the market.
The Conversation/Wes Mountain
Only around 10% of new drugs in development make it onto the market. A drug needs to go through animal trials, and then four phases of human trials to be deemed suitable for use in patients.
Randomisation is the only commonly accepted method of ensuring an unbiased estimate of the treatment effect.
The Conversation/Wes Mountain
A randomised controlled trial is the best way to compare a new treatment with the standard treatment. And randomising trial participants is a core feature of the experiment.
It’s hard to test therapies for rare cancers because there are too few people to study.
Rare cancers are hard to research given the few patients that have each type of cancer, so how can we improve treatment for these patients?
Animals have played a pivotal role in countless life-saving discoveries.
Virtually every medical therapy in use today owes its existence to animal experiments. But we can't assume what works in animals will in humans. And sometimes, the mismatch can be dangerous.
Done well, translational science can save lives.
Systematic reviews are rarely applied to basic research. A new study shows how they could separate good data from bad, saving millions in research dollars and speeding life-saving treatments.
In many trials, patients have been told they're getting the sugar pill. They still got better.
DNA holds the secrets of human existence, and studying rare diseases can reveal some of these facts of life.
Rare diseases may only affect a handful of people but their treatment benefits everyone.
There is evidence many conditions can be treated without drugs or surgery.
In many cases, the most appropriate treatment for a health condition isn't a drug. It could be a recommendation for a dietary change, a specific exercise, or even a phone app.
Scientists hope that stem cells may be able to repair nerves and other cells that support transmission of electrical impulses in the spinal cord.
Claims that stem cell treatments can repair spinal injuries right now are overblown. But it's not for lack of trying, and the science is certainly progressing.
Better technologies should be adopted in sub-Saharan Africa to deal with childhood cancer.
Better technology to diagnose, treat and manage the disease early enough is needed to improve the survival rates of childhood cancer in sub Saharan Africa.
President Barack Obama signs the 21st Century Cures Act on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, in Washington.
Kevin Wolf/AP Images for Parker Foundation
Lowering the threshold for FDA approval and feeding the agency less rigorous information will increase the likelihood of approvals of unsafe or ineffective drugs and devices.
Despite dozens of trials internationally, the evidence on medical cannabis is unconvincing.
NSW is about to embark on the largest and most definitive clinical trial ever of medicinal cannabis for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
If only we had a few more recruits.
Trials into the effectiveness of drugs and treatments struggle to recruit enough participants, yet we rely on their results anyway.
Low cholesterol. Ka-ching! Glucose control. Ka-ching!
Pay-for-performance for doctors works brilliantly ... but only in theory.
So a tested medical intervention was found not to work. This should be just as big news as if it was found to be a success.
Why didn’t you hear about a recent big study on a new heart medication? Because the drug didn’t work. But that doesn't mean the study wasn't a success – it was.
Glass sculpture representation of Human Immunodeficiency Virus structure.
A new animal study has shown injections of antibodies might protect against HIV infection, albeit for only a limited time.
Do parents know enough about clinical trials to give informed consent?
Sick child image via www.shutterstock.com.
The dramatic improvements in survival for children with cancer depend on clinical trials, and these trials depend on parents understanding the possible risks and benefits involved.
Human guinea pigs? On the occasion of Rennes drama, an explanation of what the drug trials in France and how they are controlled.
Weighing the evidence.
Meta-analyses that combine many different studies are the gold standard for medical evidence. But they are only as good research they examine.
Events disturbingly similar to the thalidomide tragedy continue to occur.
Tighter regulations of medicines and devices have prevented countless deaths and disabilities. But regulation can't always protect us from harm.