Sections

Services

Information

US United States

Clinical trials

Analysis and Comment (24)

Bottled and ready to go. Bottled and ready to go. NIAID/SGK Handout

Why we need volunteers for the first human Ebola trials

The current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has emerged rapidly and evolved with alarming ease. An unprecedented number of lives have been lost and WHO predictions are that the virus will infect in excess…
Researchers are cautiously optimistic about a new treatment for Parkinson’s. Researchers are cautiously optimistic about a new treatment for Parkinson’s. sfam_photo/Shutterstock

First stage trial of new vaccine offers glimmer of hope to Parkinson’s sufferers

Affiris, a biotech company based in Austria, and the Michael J Fox Foundation, have announced the latest results of a vaccine they have been developing to treat Parkinson’s disease. Following the first…
The idea of research reducing health-care costs may seem counter intuitive because it often leads to the development of expensive drugs, technologies, and treatments. The idea of research reducing health-care costs may seem counter intuitive because it often leads to the development of expensive drugs, technologies, and treatments. EPA/ANGELIKA WARMUTH

With the right kind of research, we can reduce health-care costs

Quality health care can be expensive and medical research has traditionally been thought to play a role in making it so. But research can also help cut the cost of medical care. The notion of research…
Brain bending with fo.cus. Brain bending with fo.cus. Fo.cus

Regulate brain boosting devices so everyone can have a go

Gamers around the world are snapping up a new device that promises to give them an edge on competitors by boosting their gaming focus. It is certainly easy to see the appeal of being able to improve your…
Herbal mixtures are comprised of many potentially active chemical compounds at relatively low concentrations. Herbal mixtures are comprised of many potentially active chemical compounds at relatively low concentrations. storyvillegirl/Flickr

Quality research of herbal medicines is possible

TESTING ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES - La Trobe University’s decision to accept funding from Swisse for a new centre to research alternative medicines has sparked controversy. This series looks at how the evidence…
Big pharma: a world of many faces. Big pharma: a world of many faces. Greg Peverill-Conti

Glaxo: the new modern face of big pharma?

With billions to be made on the back of ill health and notable scandals and cover-ups in its history, it’s fair to say that many see the public face of the pharmaceutical industry as a mask for darker…
Before a new drug can be tested in humans it must undergo comprehensive preclinical screening and testing. Before a new drug can be tested in humans it must undergo comprehensive preclinical screening and testing. Flickr / SandiaLabs

Where’s my cure for cancer?

It seems that every week a major breakthrough in the understanding of cancer is announced in the media. So where are all the drugs that should flow from these discoveries? Unfortunately, the road from…
Placebos have played an important part in medicine for two centuries. Placebos have played an important part in medicine for two centuries. jared/ flickr

To understand placebo, first take it out of medicine’s black box

Placebos have a longer history than medicine as we know it, and have a huge effect on all kinds of diseases and health conditions. But it may now be time to rethink their role. The placebo made its debut…
Learning on the job could make a real difference to healthcare. Learning on the job could make a real difference to healthcare. Tricia Wang

Developing countries and the MOOC learning revolution

Universities are being shaken up by a new mode of learning. The world’s elite institutions are opening up courses so thousands of people can learn for free via their laptops, mobiles or tablets. And these…
Two thirds of children with cancer are in clinical trials. Two thirds of children with cancer are in clinical trials. Matter

New law will help drive more clinical trials for child cancers

Clinical trials provide the unbiased evidence essential for improving treatments in all areas of medicine. For children with cancer the development of safe treatments that work has relied on high quality…
The ethical failures of the trials echo ongoing debates within international bioethics communities. The ethical failures of the trials echo ongoing debates within international bioethics communities. Shutterstock

Care and consent: the fraught ethics of international clinical trials

CLINICAL TRIALS – Human clinical trials are an important last hurdle in the development of new drugs and therapies. Today, The Conversation takes a closer look at this vital scientific endeavour with three…
The truthfulness of clinical trial data is often debatable. The truthfulness of clinical trial data is often debatable. Image from shutterstock.com

Looking back on the chequered past of drug trials

CLINICAL TRIALS – Human clinical trials are an important last hurdle in the development of new drugs and therapies. Today, The Conversation takes a closer look at this vital scientific endeavour with three…
Ethics committees are the very bodies that ensure the safety of clinical trials. Ethics committees are the very bodies that ensure the safety of clinical trials. Image from shutterstock.com

Abandoning clinical trial safeguards won’t boost local industry

CLINICAL TRIALS – Human clinical trials are an important last hurdle in the development of new drugs and therapies. Today, The Conversation takes a closer look at this vital scientific endeavour with three…
Clinical trials are experimental human research studies designed to test the effectiveness of new drugs, surgical procedures or therapeutic devices. Clinical trials are experimental human research studies designed to test the effectiveness of new drugs, surgical procedures or therapeutic devices. Nestlé/Flickr

Clinical trials are useful – here’s how we can ensure they stay so

From the time the Scottish physician James Lind showed citrus cured scurvy in 1747, clinical trials have had a reputation for being gold-standard evidence about the safety and effectiveness of medical…
Public confidence in medical research is vulnerable to attacks on its integrity. Public confidence in medical research is vulnerable to attacks on its integrity. Andrew Huff

What Australia should do to ensure research integrity

Clinical trials of an experimental cancer drug being undertaken by the University of New South Wales were suspended this week, after questions about the accuracy of some preliminary results were made public…
The world might be a brighter place if we all shared our research. The world might be a brighter place if we all shared our research. Joe Burke

China a research superpower but we could be left in dark

Over the past 25 years we have seen an explosion in top-level clinical trials in China. But only a tiny proportion of that research is available on the main databases used by doctors and researchers in…
Tamiflu was stockpiled amid flu outbreaks and scares. Tamiflu was stockpiled amid flu outbreaks and scares. Rui Vieira/PA

Tamiflu cost us £424m yet we still don’t know much about it

Are you worried about how decisions involving public money are made? You should be. Last week, the National Audit Office disclosed that the Department of Health spent £424 million on the anti-flu drug…
Non-publication of clinical trial data is a waste of research resources, among other things. Non-publication of clinical trial data is a waste of research resources, among other things. Esther Dyson

Register all trials, report all results – it’s long overdue

If researchers go to the effort of getting funds, recruiting patients, and following them up, you would think that they would be keen to publish the results. So it’s surprising that our best estimates…
Post-marketing studies are often used as ploys to get doctors in the habit of prescribing expensive new medicines. Post-marketing studies are often used as ploys to get doctors in the habit of prescribing expensive new medicines. Flickr / Nestle

How Big Pharma opens the market to new expensive drugs

New medicines are often marketed on the basis of clinical trials of limited size and duration. So clinical studies of a medicine after it has reached the market (post-marketing studies) can be a useful…

Research and News (4)

Drug trial results must be made public

A team of public health experts has called for the release of all clinical drug trial results for independent analysis following…

Research Briefs (4)