Celebrating International Clinical Trials Day

Clinical trials help to shape the future of medicine. That’s why Clinical Trials Ontario (CTO) is delighted to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day on Monday, May 20, 2019.

Here in Canada, it’s also Victoria Day, a great time to pause with friends and family to recognize the importance of clinical trials in improving health and health care.

Clinical Trials Day marks an anniversary in the history of clinical trials. More than two hundred and seventy years ago, in 1747, medical doctor James Lind conducted what is thought to be the first-ever clinical trial, on board the HMS Salisbury. He randomized 12 men with scurvy into six groups and experimented with six different treatments: Each pair of men received either cider, sulphuric acid, vinegar, sea water, two oranges and one lemon, or a paste of garlic, mustard seed, dried radish root and gum myrrh. The pair that recovered most visibly, of course, was the pair that received citrus fruit.

This was the start of clinical trials emerging as a way to find the best treatments.

Clinical Trial Finder and other patient and public engagement tools

CTO is committed to developing ways to engage patients and the public with clinical trials. We’ve been hard at work doing just that. Check out our recently launched new website, with its patients and public section, which provides simple-to-use tools to find a clinical trial or access plain-language material about clinical trials.

“In clinical trials, people are everything,” says Dawn Richards, who is the Director of Patient and Public Engagement at CTO, as well as a PhD in Analytical Chemistry, and a person living with rheumatoid arthritis. “That’s why CTO’s work includes helping patients find and understand clinical trials, building public awareness of clinical trials, promoting collaboration in the community, and ensuring the patient and public perspective is respected and incorporated in research.”

Let’s mark the day by applauding all those involved in clinical trials.

Feature Image: Dawn Richards, middle, works with patients and the public to raise awareness of clinical trials

CTO is a not-for-profit organization whose role is to help improve the clinical trials environment in Ontario. We work with patients and the public, health charities and patient organizations, researchers, industry, and others to achieve this. For more information, go to: www.ctontario.ca

More CTO Stories