It’s amazing to think that the first recorded clinical trial was 267 years ago this week. On May 20, 1747, Scottish surgeon Dr. James Lind began a trial comparing treatments used for scurvy in sailors of the British Royal Navy.
A controlled trial involving 12 sailors, the study showed that oranges and lemons were most effective in treating the debilitating disease. The results would have huge implications for the prevention of scurvy.
Dr. Lind’s landmark trial is remembered around the world every year as part of International Clinical Trials’ Day, celebrated on or around May 20. The day was established by the European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network (ECRIN) to draw attention to the importance of clinical research and clinical trials.
In Canada, where we mark International Clinical Trials Week (ICTW), May 19 – 23, it’s an opportunity to reflect on the vital role clinical trials play in advancing medical knowledge and improving people’s health and well-being.
ICTW is also a time to reflect on Canada and Ontario’s legacy of biomedical discovery, including world-class excellence in clinical trials.
Today, more than 3,200 clinical trials are underway in Ontario at any given time. The province’s clinical trials are helping health care leaders bring life-saving solutions to people around the world.