Clinical trials are important, but can’t get us to medicine prescribing that is 100% effective.
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Clinical trials are used to establish that medicines work. But these don't take into account the genetic differences between us that can mean very different outcomes for different patients.
When drug companies and drug regulators, such as Health Canada, sit down together at “pre-submission meetings” this may have a negative impact on public health.
Drug companies have a job to do and so does Health Canada. When the relationship becomes murky, the public are at risk.
The New Zealand government is introducing a scheme for regulating medicinal cannabis.
There is no doubt a regulated market for access to medicinal cannabis is safer, but if cannabis-based products were allowed to bypass efficacy trials, there's a potential cost to patient safety.
Participants of clinical trials can easily communicate online, which poses a big problem for medical researchers.
An MRI image of the brain.
Not all drug development needs to start from scratch. Sometimes researchers discover that a drug developed for one disease can be used for another. Here a cancer drug may show promise for dementia.
Research published in Science Translational Medicine in February 2019 used a virtual patient to test the drug, Fevipiprant.
Asthma affects around 339 million people worldwide. A new drug promises to lower risks of asthma attack and may eventually allow patients to reduce their dependence on steroids.
Canadian finance minister Bill Morneau announced funding for a new Canadian Drug Agency in the 2019 Federal Budget. Here he speaks at a press conference in Toronto, March 20, 2019.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
A new agency and money for drugs for rare diseases are only very partial steps on the road towards what Canada really needs: a national pharmacare plan.
Ear infections are no fun. The OSTRICH clinical trial looked at whether oral steroid medications might help.
Clinical trials can assess impact of a medication on a disease. The ideal design is 'blind' – when the researchers and participants do not know who is assigned to the different treatments.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.
People with Down syndrome are at much higher risk of dementia than the general population. Knowing when cognitive changes start is critical for developing new drugs.
Antidepressants bring in almost $17 billion a year for the pharmaceutical industry, and yet science shows their benefit to be small. Natural therapies such as diet, exercise, light therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy are just as effective.
These four “natural” therapies for depression have rigorous, peer-reviewed scientific studies to support their use.
Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease presents unique challenges, when a patient is still working or parenting children.The personality changes involved can result in job loss or divorce before a diagnosis is made.
Alzheimer's disease affects many people under the age of 65. The 'young-onset' version of the disease is often misdiagnosed as depression or dismissed as a midlife crisis.
A large trial to test whether rebooting the immune system will help patients with Crohn's disease has just begun.
Finding ways to link health care data in a secure and confidential way.
The strengths of blockchain technologies could help address the weaknesses of health care systems to store and secure medical records.
This African woman suffers from an autoimmune disease called vitiligo which causes the loss of skin pigment.
An autoimmune disease called vitiligo causes white spots to appear on the body, in some cases completely erasing an individual's pigmentation. But a new therapy is on the horizon.
Clinical trials involving probiotics are failing to report on the safety and harms of these treatments.
As medicines, not all cannabis products are created equal.
Everyone has to be vaccinated for immunisation programs to work.
Stating a majority of people won't benefit from a vaccine ignores the purpose of immunisation programs.
Clinical trials can bring important benefits to African countries.
African countries should be looking to initiate or host more clinical trials to improve the continent's health systems.
Reading over the consent form.
You should be aware of the amount of genetic information you might disclose in a research study – and what the benefits and risks will be.
Eczema, which is common in babies, is itchy and painful.
In this clinical trial, the first of its kind, physicians explore whether directly applying a 'good' strain of bacteria to the skin can heal eczema