In the past, clinical research was performed primarily at major academic centers and universities. “Today, most clinical research is performed in private clinics throughout the country,” explained Andrew Cutler, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Meridien Research. Many of the changes were brought on by rising costs in health care and growing bureaucracies.
Positive changes in attitudes about private companies contributing to research is also a reason for the move away from academia. Clinicians are encouraged and often recruited to participate in late stage research.
Changes in Health Care
The changes in health care, especially within the past 10 years, have created a gap in care for many people struggling with a mental health disorders, like ADHD, depression or bipolar disorder. They have experienced a range of managed care hurdles, from rising costs in drug benefits to cancellations in coverage. For them, it’s become more difficult to find proper and affordable care.
Taking Part in Clinical Research
A very small percent of the general population participates in clinical research. Researchers are concerned about the possible stigma regarding participation.
“There are several reasons why a person would want to volunteer in a clinical trial,” Cutler said. “One of them is because they want to find help. We do more than just check boxes on a list. We treat patients with the most advanced medications and therapies available in the world.”
Cutler spoke of his experience with the managed care system and how many people have fallen between the gaps in coverage. Medical insurance is not required for participants in clinical trials. “All of the costs are covered by the company running the study. And, a small amount of compensation is provided to the participants for their time and travel.”
Clinical trials are often overlooked as a service to the community, providing specialty care to a growing population of under-insured families. “The money they get pales in comparison to the physical and psychological benefits,” Cutler explained. “They care very little about the money they get, because their health and well-being is better through the treatments.”
He went on to describe how study participants feel the intangible benefits after having taken part in a study. “What’s interesting also is the feeing they get knowing that they are helping others. Studies have shown that participants in clinical trials want to help others. They want to save someone else from going through what they had to go through and, at the same time, get better doing it.”
Quality of Care
Cutler has devoted his career to research. He believes in delivering the highest level of care through decades of clinical experience and excellent customer service—focused entirely on the patient and medical research.
Below is a list of what a patient can expect when participating in a study:
- A lengthy initial examination in order to capture their entire health history.
- Study protocols require frequent contact between the patient and the investigators.
- Significant changes in health and well-being are addressed immediately.
- Data gathered from the study about the patient may be available to a primary care physician, which provides transparency.
- Participants in research are encouraged to see their primary and specialty care providers.
The volunteer is essential to the research process. Their contribution to medical research benefits their personal health, and the health and well-being of the community for generations to come. Meridien Research’s mission is to provide consistent, high-quality clinical research in a professional, ethical, and timely manner. If you or someone you know might be interested in volunteering your time to participate in a clinical trial or medical research study, please reach out to Meridien Research at 888-777-8839.