A clinical trial is research that observes and studies a treatment, medicine or medical device, when they are administered to or used with people
What is a Clinical trial?
The goal of a clinical trial is to establish the safest and most effective treatment. With pharmceutical therapies this is usually done by varying the dosage and or combinations of compounds in a controlled environment. If a medicine, for example, is proven to work in initial trials, after several years of testing various strengths and the reactions of its trial participants it will eventually be approved for use in multiple countries at a recommended dosage. During clinical trials Principal Investigators – highly qualified senior medical specialists – oversee the treatment to observe results.
What do the trial phases mean?
Clinical trials – which tests new treatments on participants – are divided into different stages, or phases. Early phase trials examine whether a drug is safe on humans and what side effects it might have, later phase trials will need to prove the correct dosage required for it to be effective, and study the long term effects of use.
Why are some clinical trials paid and others not paid?
Most clinical trial sites, such as MMCT, do not pay trial participants, There are however some that will pay – they are not common – for a variety of reasons which could include attracting trial participants where interest is low, or where there may be risk involved. The most at risk group is early phase trials which are usually carried out on healthy participants. Most clinical trials MMCT do are on unhealthy participants and they do not pay participants as the treatments are to the benefit of the participant.
Can I enrol here?
No. Generally speaking you must enrol through your GP or via your clinical specialist. You can however visit MMCT’s Facebook site to familiarise yourself on what is available. It is recommended you ask your doctor or specialist for more information on trials.
Free regular monitoring
Participants in a clinical trial are closely monitored at no cost to protect the participant’s safety, improve treatment outcomes and assure data integrity. This offers the benefit of a deeper level of involvement of the participant in their own therapy which itself may improve health outcomes for the participant, along with the benefits of quicker knowledge should your condition change.
Free access to top clinicians
Trials are led by the foremost medical experts in their field and participants receive an extraordinarily high level of care and attention – it’s the best healthcare you can get. Just by participating in a clinical trial the participant gains access to not just free medical care but also the best doctors.
Potential to receive new therapies
People who participate in a clinical trial gain access to the very latest innovative new medicines and clinical devices, sometimes years before they become available to the general public. When you hear about a remarkable new drug, you'll find that it was in fact introduced to patients many years earlier to good effect.
Best available care
Clinical trials are funded by the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies at the cutting edge of drug and medical device development. The medicines you receive would ordinarily be too expensive or not available in New Zealand for years to come.
Some care options may not be available elsewhere
Medicines are made available in New Zealand at very low cost thanks to Pharmac funding. Unfortunately this business model also means that it can be many years before some of the latest and most expensive treatments are available to Kiwis. The only way to access some of these innovative, new treatments is through clinical trials.
Middlemore Clinical Trials (MMCT) is New Zealand's largest clinical trials site, which offers world-class facilities, excellent audited procedures, and a fully integrated research unit.