CORNWALL, Ontario – A clinical research facility in Cornwall, currently conducting clinical trials on a new drug for diabetes, is looking to the community for participants.
“Every time we go to the doctor we want to be treated,” said Susan Snape, B.Sc. (N), and partner at Scisco Clinical Research, located in the McConnell Medical Centre. “The only way that we’re going to get new medications to market is for everybody to be involved.”
These clinical trials are all part of the drug development process, said Snape, who along with partners, Dr. Alan Rosenbloom, chief of emergency, Glengarry Memorial Hospital, and practicing physician at McConnell Medical Centre, as well as, Dr. Lorne Scharf, chief of staff at Cornwall Community Hospital, and practicing physician at McConnell Medical Centre, opened the facility in July of last year.
“When a new medication comes out there has been at least 10 to 15 years of research behind that medication, and it continues for years after its launch. This explains a little bit why medications are so expensive when they first come out; it’s hugely involved and expensive.”
As far as participants, their criteria are very specific, so even those interested have to fit the bill.
“Were not just taking everybody and throwing them into a study, and giving them a drug haphazardly. It’s very structured there are a lot of regulations we have to follow from Health Canada and the FDA.”
In general, study patients love being in studies, said Snape. “They get treated like gold.”
She goes on to say that while in the study, patients have access to a nurse and doctor 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at no out-of-pocket cost – an added benefit to participating, considering the shortage of physicians in Canada.
Snape explains that the studies, are “blinded,” meaning that neither the patients nor the doctors know if they are using the medication, a placebo or active comparative, depending on the study. Also depending on the study and illness, patients will remain on their current medication. Throughout, all the information is collected in databases and analysed.
“Nobody knows until the entire study is done. Along the way we can make educated guesses, for example, in the case of diabetes, if the patient’s sugar all of a sudden comes down.”
Scisco is also looking for local physicians to refer their patients to the studies or to sign up as an investigator. “We’d love to have more investigators involved.”
Since setting up their office in Cornwall, Scisco (Latin for investigate) has conducted studies in diabetes, pneumonia, acute urticarial (hives), and upcoming, in January, a study on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). To date, approximately 30 members of our community have participated.
For further information, contact Susan Snape, Scisco Clinical Research, at 613-936-1100, or visit www.scisco.ca.