Drug Trials-give a Second Chance to That Critical Disease

Drug trials can be the light at the end of the dark tunnel for many patients dealing with critical diseases

Leading a normal life, being physically active and eating right- everyone tries to follow these to stay healthy! But suddenly when a normal person discovers a lump, a cyst, or has a persistent cough, uncontrolled bleeding or any other major problem and finally comes to know about some critical disease he or she is diagnosed with their life just comes to a standstill!

Of course technology has grown by leaps and bounds and the latest treatments are available in the market for all different types of health problems, but still there are those few people who end up with a bug of a different kind and at times need a new drug to help them! The answer to their problems is clinical trials.

Clinical trial- a test or a solution

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Image Courtesy: www.debbiesdream.org

A clinical trial is usually a study involving patients-usually known as the subject- to improve medical knowledge, to prove that certain drugs are successful and can be used to treat humans. Usually there are two types of studies- clinical trials and observational studies. Clinical trials involve the use of drugs or devices to see the safety and efficacy of the product and observational studies assess health outcomes in groups of people.

The two main purposes of a clinical trial are to know

  • Does the new treatment work well on humans?
  • Is the new treatment safe?

These trials go on in many phases and a clinical trial is only one small phase. Each drug goes through at least 6 years of study before it comes into a clinical trial. And on an average it takes about 8 years for a drug to pass a clinical trial and come into the market. During these trials the doctors have to work closely with the patient’s (subjects) to see the effect of the drugs on them. The biggest challenge of these trials is the fact that not many patients are willing to participate in these trials.  According to the American cancer society less than 5% adults agree to take part in clinical trials involving cancer drugs whereas 60% children take part in trials that is why survival rates of childhood cancer have gone up well in the recent past.

 THE PHASES INVOLVED

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 Clinical trials are not simple procedures but involve a series of phases before they are considered successful and the product is ready to launch in the market. Drugs are tested for the first time on patients. It helps to decipher the dosage of drugs which the patients can tolerate.

  • This phase includes pilot trials and final trials to evaluate the efficacy of drugs on the patients to see how it helps to treat or prevent the disease.
  • Trials are demonstrated on patients who will eventually use this medicine prior to submission to NDA (National drug authority) and followed by a study post submission to NDA just before the launch in the market.
  • The last phase involves studies on the medicine even after it is in the market to provide additional information on its efficacy and side effects. This is also known as post marketing surveillance.

 CLINICAL TRIAL- A SECOND HOPE

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 Clinical trials not just provide new drugs and devices to the medical field but also give a second chance and ray of hope to people suffering from critical health problems. Critical health problems are life threatening and not having a right cure for it can be even more disheartening for the patients. But clinical trials have proven to help such patients as well and have given them a new lease of life.

Mary James an Afro American was diagnosed with breast cancer and she had a complicated form of cancer which needed multiple lines of treatment. She needed a lumpectomy, followed by chemotherapy and radiation. Just as she finished her line of treatment her oncologist suggested her for a clinical trial of accelerated partial breast radiation. This involves comparing the standard breast radiation which takes 6 weeks with accelerated partial breast radiation which confirms the radiation close to tumour cavity and lasts only 5 days. Mary felt that the trial she went through has not only improved her chances of living longer but has also given her an opportunity to do something to make the place a better world.  The outcome of these trials definitely provide a better chance to people suffering from critical diseases towards a new hope of living.

Clinical trials provide solutions for other problems as well like osteoporosis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s to name a few. Osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disorder which involves thinning of the bone. A recent trial done at the Oregon Osteoporosis centre at Portland has shown that a drug called romosozumab, works well on osteoporosis by not just preventing further bone mass loss but also by promoting bone formation.

CLINICAL TRIALS- A FAILURE AT TIMES

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 A clinical trial is a test of a kind and so not always successful. A drug failing a clinical trial and not coming into the market is better than a drug coming into the market and adversely affecting patients. One such example  is of a clinical trial failure of a breast cancer drug called Cadcyla by Roche as it failed to give results superior to existing drugs. Several anti-inflammatory drugs have been withdrawn from markets following side effects during clinical trials. A failure in a trial is like a red signal to the pharma company to stop it from launching in the market.

GRANDOPINION- YOUR GUIDE TO A CLINICAL TRIAL

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A diagnosis of a critical disease, multiple lines of treatment and your doctor requesting you to be part of a clinical trial- leaves you rather confused. If you are wondering who can guide you at this point of time, then the simplest guide and friend you can find is GrandOpinion. If you are dealing with a life and death situation and Inspite of regular medication and treatment, you see no improvement in your disease, and your doctor sees no ray of hope for your living, you can consult GrandOpinion for that second trail to life i.e. for clinical trials.

  • Has your doctor told you about clinical trials? If not our doctors on GrandOpinion will guide you and tell you more about clinical trials and how they can help you find a line of treatment for the critical disease you are suffering from.
  • Has your doctor been asking you to through clinical trials? In this case, GrandOpinion will help let you know if there is any other line of treatment available or clinical trial is the last option.

Apart from these, the effects and side effects will also be clearly mentioned by our doctors.

A clinical trial is a good option for many as it not just helps your problems and increases your chances of living but having been part of a trial you provide a great path for the future generations to come.

 

 

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Second opinion – A new beacon of light

Second medical Opinion is quite important for critical illness and diseases. With the rise of medical experiments, new treatment procedures, medical negligence and inaccurate diagnosis, this importance has elevated to another level. Getting a second opinion on illness, patients not only get an access to accurate diagnosis and newer treatment paths but also a different perspective on the illness.

The success and innovations in the medical industry across the world are beyond any shadow of doubts. The infrastructure, quality health services, medical devices, constant research and development in pharmaceuticals etc all lead to the growth of the industry. Constant medical technology innovations head to better clinical outcomes and shorter recovery time. So the question arises- why do patients still seek second medical opinion? Is it lack of trust on the doctor’s diagnosis or is it the lack of relevant information to assimilate or you want to know best options available to tackle with the disease.

Healthcare is the most sought after industry in the world. But with the boom of the healthcare industry, an equal percentage of cases pertaining to medical negligence and wrong diagnosis are coming into the picture. Also we can’t neglect the fact, that corporates run hospitals and issue revenue targets to the doctors. Doctors in turn search for potential candidates (a.k.a patients) to perform unnecessary surgical procedures which ultimately add to the overall revenue of the hospital. There have been numerous instances of doctors mis-diagnosing patients or insisting on unnecessary surgical procedures.

WHO lists Medical misdiagnosis among the top 10 killers in the world. As per British National Health System survey conducted in 2009, 15% of its patients were misdiagnosed. Another report by The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, Diagnostic errors are present across every specialty. For perceptual specialties (like radiology, dermatology) the percentage of error is less than 5% but for other clinical critical specialties the error percent ranges from 10% to 15% in US.

Ashish Dhar and Sachin Shah formed GrandOpinion, a place where anyone can get a second opinion on their medical illness from the industry experts. When one of the founders underwent a similar situation of misdiagnosis in his family, the duo realized the need of any such organizations and thus they wanted to bring about radical change in the way patients interact with their doctors. GrandOpinion use a simple flow “right diagnosis to be made at the right time”.

In India there is a wide spread of ‘white coat syndrome’ i.e.  the doctors are kept on a pedestal by the patients and their families. Most of them blindly follow the instructions without questioning or understanding them. Though this is changing slowly with the advent of internet. But many a time self – medication or self – diagnosis can be dangerous as internet mostly provides us with unnecessary and unauthorized information which may confuse the patient and they may land up to a riskier position.

In the urge of eliminating this risk and providing patients with accurate diagnosis, GrandOpinion got its identity. The company launched its branches in USA, Delhi and in China. Ashish Dhar, Co-founder, GrandOpinion shares “We have created a simple no fuss model which is easy to use for patients and their families. With the help of technology, it is easier to seek opinions for top medical professionals at click of a button without having to travel or spend a lot of money”.

GrandOpinion is for patients who are battling with serious health conditions and in need of immediate second medical diagnosis.  GrandOpinion provide patients a different perspective on their disease, with positivity and a better path towards recovery. Apart from individuals, corporate houses and organizations can invest in this service of Second Opinion as it helps employees get accurate diagnosis from the beginning. GrandOpinion has a virtual clinic which matches patient to doctor who are specialized for a  particular medical condition or disease . This is done to ensure that both patient and doctor are connected on the same level and immediate diagnosis can be given without having to resort to unnecessary repeat tests. Opinions are given on basis of existing test reports and a case coordinator is assigned to keep track of the case. Since all the records and conversations are digitally recorded, it can be accessed anytime from anywhere. All consulting doctors in GrandOpinion are recruited only on basis of recommendation and their research in a particular specialty.

Medical diagnosis varies from one physician to another. By taking a second opinion, one can choose between new options for treatment and can cross verify the original diagnosis and treatment plan. GrandOpinion helps patients and their families to make informed treatment choice and choose a better treatment plan.

Click here to learn more about expert medical opinions-