When you hear ‘clinical trials,’ today you think about research sites, hospitals, and doctor’s offices. What you absolutely don’t think about is a British Royal Navy fleet ship ridden with scurvy, but that’s how clinical trials started! On this day, 273 years ago, surgeon mate James Lind conducted a clinical trial to advance medicine for the sake of his fellow shipmates.
What is Clinical Trials Day?
In 2005, researchers internationally agreed to recognize Clinical Trials Day on May 20th in honor of the first clinical trial conducted by James Lind. It’s a global effort to bring awareness to clinical trials in general and to thank those teams that work on the front lines for medical advancements.
Did you know that it can take up to 10 years for a medical treatment to reach the pharmacy shelf? Due to the length of time it takes to get treatments approved, it isn’t only the local staff you see involved in clinical trials. Clinical trials require large teams to ensure the safety of volunteers while trying to find new or better options for those who suffer with everything from acne to Zika. They’re monitored closely from the chemical compounds to every single possible side effect that a volunteer reports.
This day is to say thank you to everyone who works on that 10-year process. From the research scientists who work on compounds, to the data entry staff, every person is vital each and every step of the way to help those who need these new developments.
How Can You Get Involved?
Without volunteers for clinical trials, we would have nobody to thank! Right now, 90% of clinical trials across the globe fail to recruit enough volunteers. That means in order for us to reach 100% of the needed volunteers, 1 in 200 people in the United States would need to volunteer!
If you’re able and willing, sign up for our newsletter to receive notifications about clinical trials near you. Not only will you be helping the future with your participation, but most clinical trials also compensate volunteers for their time and travel.