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What are clinical trials and why do people participate?

Clinical trials are part of clinical research and are at the heart of all medical advances. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. Treatments might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments. Studies follow strict, scientific standards which protect patients and help produce reliable clinical trial results. Clinical trials are one of the final stages of a long and careful research and development process. The process often begins in a laboratory, where scientists first develop and test new ideas.

People participate in clinical trials for a variety of reasons. Healthy volunteers say they participate to help others and to contribute to moving science forward. Participants with an illness or disease also participate to help others, but also to possibly receive the newest treatment and to have additional care and attention from the clinical trial staff. Clinical trials offer hope for many people and an opportunity to help researchers find better treatments for others in the future.

Are Clinical Trials Safe?

  • Every trial requires approval by an independent ethics committee – registered with the Australian Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
  • The Foundation follows regulations and guidelines in accordance with international certification under Good Clinical Practice(GCP) and in accordance with TGA (Australia), FDA (USA), EMA (EU) and Medicines Australia guidelines
  • Every volunteer has to provide consent, go through medical questions specific to the trial, is assessed by a qualified doctor and go through extensive medical examinations to make sure it is safe for them to participate
  • New drugs and therapies have to go through extensive years of testing before they are tested in clinical trials on humans.
  • You are able to withdraw from a clinical trial at any point in time.

Our Clinical Trial Division

The Foundation’s Clinical Trials Division runs various clinical trials for some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. In order for new medications to make it onto the market, they must first undergo meticulous testing to determine overall safety and effectiveness. Based at the Hollywood Specialist Centre, the unit is staffed by study coordinators and nurses and medical practitioners. The unit is supervised by Associate Professor Roger Clarnette, a senior specialist physician at Fremantle Hospital and Hollywood Private Hospital who has a particular interest in memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.

Our clinical trials are conducted under the ethical codes of both the Foundation and Hollywood Private Hospital and are in accord with strict national and international standards. The trials we undertake are part of an international network testing the potential of drugs as treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.