Clinical Research: Drug Studies and Device Trials, Theory and Approach




McCormick, Timothy Chad


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A clinical trial is composed of four different phases. Each of these phases serve a purpose such as testing safety, efficacy, and dosage. These phases are essential to provide the best possible model for mass use of a drug or a new device. Drug studies differ from device studies in their design and their delivery. In this case, a post-operative pain medication was tested, as well as a differential study between two types of cutting devices used in laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The post-operative pain study is a phase III study that is testing the efficacy, safety, and the pharmacokinetics of a proposed drug. The device study is considered a phase IV study because it is evaluating two commonly used techniques for laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Both of these techniques have previously been approved by the FDA and are mass marketed. These two studies were followed for six weeks and evaluated for protocol design, differences and similarities, and for hands on experience in the clinical research arena. Upon completion of the six week opportunity, it is evident that clinical research is a viable piece of medicine today. Following these two studies allowed for an understanding of the differences and similarities encountered when executing a drug study, as well as a device study. The complexities of the two studies were evaluated, and without doubt, the drug study included much more paper work, patient testing, inclusion/exclusion criteria, study evaluation, and most of all, man hours. All in all, this was a very rewarding experience that allowed for a greater understanding of the implementation and value of today’s clinical research.