Access

As pharmaceutical medicine is not a clinical specialty, access to services is not through the traditional routes of clinical referral. Patients can be informed about, or offered the chance to participate in, a clinical trial that may affect their condition by a specialist doctor or GP, a specialist nurse, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. NHS choices has further information about taking part in clinical trials as does Involve, funded by the National Institute for Health Research. Healthy volunteers can seek out opportunities to take part in trials (usually phase I trials – see below). Databases of current clinical trials can be found on the World Health Organization’s International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) and the UK Clinical Trials Gateway.  Disease specific gateways, for example in cancer, also exist. Anyone participating in a clinical trial must read and sign a consent form. A parent or guardian can do this for those under the age of 18. Patients may also be part of post-marketing surveillance of a newly marketed medicine, though this may not have been explicitly explained to them and they would not have had to complete a consent form. In the UK this may have been indicated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) yellow card and black triangle schemes.

30/06/2018