The last topic in the series on medical research and clinical trials is related to studies on vaccines and, what better example to explain vaccines research than the recent Covid-19 pandemic. Similar to pharmaceutical products, vaccines trials occur in 3-4 phases (Phase I-III pre-marketing authorization and Phase IV after the vaccine is licensed).
What is a clinical trial and how (why) does it work?
A clinical trial is a study conducted on human volunteers to investigate a variety of questions on a treatment/intervention tested:
- is the treatment/intervention safe?
- does the treatment/intervention work?
- does the treatment/intervention work better than what is already available (if there is a similar treatment/intervention)?
What is medical research?
Medical (biomedical) research, sometimes referred to as experimental medicine, comprises different types of research, from basic, to clinical, applied research. Different scientific fields are usually included and range from biology, medicine, physics, computational science, mathematics, chemistry, and pharmacology. The overarching intention of such research is to improve human health and well-being.