You Are NOT a Lab Rat
“Research”, unfortunately, will most likely always have a negative stigma behind its purpose. There have been many terrifying and world changing events that have given this word a bad reputation. The Holocaust may be the most impactful representation. Research tends to be tied with words like experimentation, science, lab-rats, cancer, and all of the other really negative connotations. However, this blog will educate you and open your eyes to a whole new world behind this meaning.
Research is actually a very sophisticated, safe and sterile way to look at the world of medicine. In medical research, there are so many safety phases that have to be proven safe to the FDA before it even reaches medical research offices like ours. In fact, all of the medications you or people you know are now taking have been through all of the phases of research. By the time we get studies here at DeGarmo’s, the medications have already passed safety phases.
So what happens before we get them?? Think about the times we live in for a second and how advanced our scientists/pharmacists have become with the knowledge of the human body and how it works. In a metaphorical sense, we have basically built Noah’s Arc to prep us for the world flood. Now and days, it’s just a matter of refinement to that arc to make it more useful and effective. When developing new medications, Scientists are already starting from a strong foundation of medical intelligence. So when they come out with a new medication, they have not necessarily started from scratch.
After a medication is developed, they perform the first stages of research by observing the medications’ effects on animals, such as the lab rats we know of too well (for all of the animal rights advocates out there, I personally apologize if this is offensive. However, it is what it is and I am stating facts). After this phase, where the medication has to be proven SAFE of use, they will use the medication on healthy volunteers. Here is the kicker, these people are HEALTHY AND VOLUNTEERING. Clinical trials usually compensate very well financially for people’s time and travel. Though money is never a factor to use to convey, people who volunteer know this and are more than willing to contribute to the research. Other people are genuinely passionate about the medical field and find this a way for them to contribute to the future of helping people! No matter the reason, the volunteer portion of this is vital to understand. Research is not manipulative and does not misinform (or not inform at all) the volunteers of every single detail of the study. The volunteers may not know the dosage of the medication or if they are getting a placebo, but they know the ins and outs of the study and its procedures.
Bottom line, the benefits of research outweigh any negativity by a mile! The medication itself is free of cost. You are closely monitored by a staff of research coordinators AND doctors. You get complimentary blood work, ECGs, exams, x-rays, and any other study related requirements that people usually avoid getting done because of money and lack of insurance coverage. Which by the way, insurance is not involved because research is voluntary and already paid for. Other advantages like disability claims not being affected is also something to keep in mind. And of course, the financial compensation is usually very satisfactory. People actually benefit more because of newer, advanced, and better-developed medications by participating in research. Side effects are typical and come with every single medication that has already been approved. In fact, did you know that Car Accidents is a side effect of Tylenol?? We all know and can understand that Tylenol does not cause car accidents. It just so happens that someone had a car accident while participating in the clinical trial when Tylenol was in its early stages of development. Study coordinators HAVE to record every single event that occurs while you are taking a medication in its research phases. That means if your cat scratches you on the arm and causes a skin infection, “skin infections” will be documented. Yep, seems kinda ridiculous to some degree. But, it is better to have too many specifics than none at all. These days, scientists want to be as vulnerable and honest as they can be, and well, the FDA demands it.
Hope this helps clear up some bad vibes that you may have about medical research! Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments!