KEY POINTS

  • Scientists begin clinical trials for new coronavirus medicine
  • How good are clinical trials in determining the efficacy of the new drugs?
  • Can you sign up in one of these clinical trials?

The number of cases of infection and deaths due to coronavirus continues to rise in many countries around the world. In Italy, for instance, 683 people have died in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s total death toll to 7,503, or more than double compared to China.

As far as the number of confirmed cases is concerned, the United States has the third most number of infections at 65,797, with a total death toll of 935. The country posted its single-day highest new number of cases at 10,941, with 155 dying within 24 hours. coronavirus drug clinical trial coronavirus drug clinical trial Photo: Photo by Science in HD on Unsplash

The Search For A Vaccine

Scientists around the world are working furiously to understand the new virus. Being a new type of coronavirus, there are no vaccines or treatments available. All hospitals could do is to provide COVID-19 patients with palliative care.

There are some groups of scientists who have met some degree of success in their research work on the new coronavirus. Any result or drug that they come up with, however, needs to go more rigorous testing before it can be released to the public. Among these processes is the clinical trial.

An Overview On Clinical Trials

According to the National Health Service, a clinical trial seeks to compare the effects of a particular treatment with another. These trials may involve healthy individuals, COVID-19 patients, or both.

All clinical trials of new drugs undergo several phases of tests to see if they are safe and if they do work. The new medicines will oftentimes be tested against a type of treatment referred to as a control.

There is no timeframe for a new drug to undergo these tests up until its approval. In some cases, it may take several years to a decade or even more. With the urgent need of a coronavirus drug at this time, however, such tests may be fast-tracked.

Signing Up For A Clinical Trial

Researchers welcome volunteers who wish to participate in coronavirus trials, provided you fit all their requirements. If you wish to see whether you are qualified or not, you might want to check out websites that can help you register for such clinical trials.

These websites include the National Institute for Health Research, ClinicalTrials.Gov, and EU Clinical Trials Register. According to the NHS, there are clinical trials that offer remuneration ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on what is expected from you and what is involved. In other cases, there is no remuneration involved, only the offer to cover all your travel expenses. Before signing up, you need to find out about the risks, and possible inconveniences, involved in such clinical trials. You might also want to consider if, on the overall, it is all worth it.