As the doctors at McFarland Clinic are treating thousands of patients a year, members of the clinic’s Clinical Research Department are working with a smaller, yet vitally important, group of patients, introducing them to cutting-edge products and medications that are currently going through trials to assess their success.
The Clinical Research Department manages McFarland’s clinical trials, trials that are offered throughout the country by companies developing a new medication or medical device. Through the Clinical Research Department, patients can gain access to these trials locally, along with the latest in treatment being considered by the medical community.
According to Clinical Research Director Todd Tjaden, patients who are eligible for one of their many studies – each study has a list of criteria for its participants – can expect detailed care by his team should they decide to take part in a trial.
Patients enrolled in a trial can expect to go through an initial screening visit to ensure they are fully qualified to be part of the trial. After this initial visit, patients will continue with clinic visits or phone calls as required by the study in which they are enrolled. However, says Tjaden, if for any reason a patient would need to withdraw from a clinical trial, they can do so at any time, for any reason.
“The patient works very closely with the study coordinator, who can sometimes feel like a case worker as we get to know the patients quite well,” Tjaden said. “Patients are always assessed for side effects, compliance, further education, efficacy, and other medications taken concomitantly.”
While there is no guarantee that the medication or product being used in a study will make a patient better, adds Tjaden, patients benefit from being a part of clinical trials by receiving additional medical attention and gaining a better education of the disease impacting them. Many patients also find it rewarding to be involved in research for cutting-edge therapy.
Heavily studied areas going on right now with the McFarland Clinic Clinical Research team include heart disease medications for blood thinners, cholesterol modification, prevention of future heart disease, epilepsy medications, and the prevention and control of diabetes.
Interested patients are encouraged to check out the trials currently being offered by the clinic and speaking with their doctor if they want to see if they are qualified for a particular trial. Visit the McFarland Clinic Clinical Research page for more information about ongoing trials and to learn more about the benefit this department offers to McFarland Clinic patients.