Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Clinical Trials

In yesterday's group discussion we were once again in agreement with what we considered to be the issue with clinical trials. Most of us decided that the issue with clinical trials is not the trials themselves, but like most other ethical problems, how they are regulated. In the book it stated that in order to be on a review board for clinical trials, all a person had to do was say "yes." If this is the case, then we were all against this method of admission, but unfortunately, we were not given enough evidence from Glenn McGee that this was true. We have all started questioning his validity.

Another issue was how easy it is to be on a clinical trial, and how the participants may not be that well informed about the trial. Basically McGee was saying that the only thing between the participant and researchers is a signed consent form. More education about the trials would definitely benefit the participant in knowing what to expect, but we discussed in class that many patients that are offered clinical trials may not have time to be educated,  or may not care either way. For example: a patient with stage four cancer or an Alzheimer's patient that will not remember anything they are taught.

We also talked about how being on a clinical trial is always a personal choice, or in some cases the last choice/option a person has. A person is most likely not going to be offered to be on a clinical trial if it may not possibly benefit them or others with the disease or health issue they have. Most people with diseases are willing to do anything to help the future of their disease.

As far as people getting paid to be on clinical trials, I believe that most of us didn't really have a problem with that. If you need the money, and are willing to take a risk, then why not?


(Sorry for the late post, totally forgot I was the writer for today!)


  1. I really appreciated the last tidbit of information we received about how the trial itself is set up. On that note, I want to have faith that the process in which confirms a product/procedure is ready for human testing is extensive enough to ensure safety precautions are taken. In that case, what point does a ethics board serve? How about turning our attention to more pertinent issues like creating a better medium, laymen's terms, between doctor and patient. Perhaps that would make patients more aware of what they are signing up to, if that is the problem.

  2. Glenn's not going to give us lots of evidence in these brief "cases"... it may be worthwhile to check his "sources" at the end of the book, and to do some additional research to try and (dis)confirm his bolder statements.

  3. Sorry for being so late, there's been a cold outbreak at my house and I've been trying to put myself in a self induced coma with a mixture of first generation antihistamines and sleepytime tea.

    In any case, I've not much else to add that hasn't already been said. For me the main issue was not if consumers were being placed in bad situations or given enough information, but rather the panels that review and put up the drugs for trials in the first place. Similarly, Science is quite malleable, and I think a wider problem is not if enough data can be collected, but rather how should we weigh data collected by someone who stands to gain from a specified result.

  4. I had kind of a hard time discussing this topic because I do not have much background or knowledge and anything that Glenn was bringing up. I agreed on the most basic level that people should be thoroughly informed of what they are getting into if this is plausible, but also that when they hear the word 'trial' they are probably already aware that it is at least a little bit risky and can decide for themselves whether or not it's worth it. I feel like I have enough faith in the scientific and medical community that they would not withhold known risk-factors from patients.
    We also noted that the fact that they are 'trials' means that the procedures/medicine/whathaveyou need to be researched more thoroughly and those in charge may not even be able to predict some of the possible side effects and such, but as I said, I think that this is common sense when being linked with any sort of trial run.
    Obviously the ethics board thing with them just having to say 'yes' to be on it should change if that is really the case (I'm skeptical), but I don't see it as much of a deep philosophical question unless we want to rage war on large-corporations and how committees are not efficient.

  5. This discussion was interesting but I did not feel like we really had much to discuss. I am relatively comfortable knowing the extent to which a drug has to be tested and the rigorous standards that it must meet before it can be eligible for human trials. Once a drug satisfies those standards and is opened to human trials I believe that the patient has the right to know everything that the doctors know about the drug but it is important to acknowledge that the reason that the drugs are being tested is that they are not yet aware of all possible effects of the medicine, that is the whole point of the trial.