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 life saving therapies and lead to better outcomes for current and future patients.

Ontario is leading the way

Ontario is home to a thriving clinical trials ecosystem and the clinical trials happening in our province are making a difference for patients around the world. At Clinical Trials Ontario (CTO), we are proud to support Ontario’s world-class research community through programs like CTO Stream, which enables a single ethics review for all multi-site trials. By streamlining ethics review while ensuring the highest quality standards, we can advance critical research quickly so that more clinical trials opportunities are available and new treatments reach patients faster.

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.

Join us in our celebration of International Clinical Trials Day

Throughout the month of 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 #ICTD2022 and #TalkClinicalTrials.


#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.