Help us celebrate international Clinical Trials Day!  

International Clinical Trials Day is celebrated around the world on May 20th to recognize the day that James Lind started what is considered the first clinical trial. In 1747, on board the HMS Salisbury, Lind randomized 12 men with scurvy into six groups and experimented with six different treatments. The pair that recovered most visibly was the pair that received citrus fruit. This was the start of clinical trials emerging as a way to find the best treatments. 

What are clinical trials?  

Clinical trials are a type of research that involve people and test health-related interventions. Through clinical trials, we determine whether a new intervention is safe and effective, whether it helps people live longer than other treatments or whether it improves the quality of life for patients. To protect the rights and well-being of people who participate in research, clinical trials must undergo research ethics review

Ultimately, the goal of clinical trials is to improve medical treatments and peoples’ health and well-being. They can provide access to urgently needed lifesaving therapies and lead to better outcomes for current and future patients. 

Join us in our celebration of International Clinical Trials Day  

At CTO we are also committed to developing ways to engage patients and the public with clinical trials. We are doing this by encouraging active involvement of patients and the public in CTO programming, raising public awareness of clinical trials, helping people make informed decisions about clinical trials and building resources to help improve the clinical trial participant experience. 

This May, we will share resources and stories that highlight clinical trials and the people who engage with them. Join the conversation by following us on Twitter and Facebook and using the hashtags #ICTD2023 and #TalkClinicalTrials.

#TalkClinicalTrials: Thinking of joining a clinical trial? What you need to know  

Clinical Trials Ontario is also hosting a Facebook Live event at 12:00pm on May 19th to provide information on clinical trials. Dawn Richards, Director of Patient and Public Engagement at Clinical Trials Ontario will cover the basics of clinical trials, how to look for a clinical trial and what to consider when joining a trial. Fisola, caregiver of two children with Sickle Cell Disease will describe her family’s experience with clinical trials and advice for those considering joining a trial.  


#TalkClinicalTrials is a campaign led by CTO with the a goal of building awareness around clinical trials. Why? Because clinical trials matter to all of us. They help to generate better treatments and technologies and ultimately help shape the future of medicine. Explore more stories from the series and join the conversation on social media using #TalkClinicalTrials.