Sacramento-area volunteers sought for clinical trials • Sacramento News & Review

Prior to 1747, scurvy was a mysterious disease that, by some accounts, killed more sailors than battles, storms, and shipwrecks combined. In one of the first recorded clinical trials in history, James Lind found the cure: citrus fruits. The design of his experiment, which treated a dozen men with six anecdotal “cures,” is credited with inspiring today’s clinical trial research design.

Whether it’s antibiotics to treat drug-resistant germs, a new way to manage chronic diseases like diabetes, or more effective contraceptives for men and women, clinical trials are needed before the United States Food and Drug Administration does not approve them for sale. The purpose of these studies is to determine the safety and effectiveness of new drugs, devices, treatments and procedures.

“What we do today will affect our children and grandchildren tomorrow.”

Jesika Riley, Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Here in Sacramento, Northern California Research conducts clinical trials designed to develop new advances that have the potential to improve the lives of millions of people around the world. But to conduct these important studies, they need patient volunteers.

Although specific protocols are established by sponsoring pharmaceutical companies, a wide range of demographics are typically required, including men and women of different ages, races, and medical conditions. Most trials take place over several months or years and usually require monthly reviews and tests. All visits and tests, such as X-rays or other procedures, are free for patients, who are compensated for their time and effort. There are additional benefits, according to Laurie Johnson, director of the Northern California research site and certified clinical research coordinator.

Laurie Johnson
Northern California Research

“It’s a really good thing for patients, because they’re being closely monitored and getting updates more frequently than they would from their primary care physician, they’re getting extra x-rays, they can see if there are changes in their blood work, their MRIs, things that they might not do for patients in a regular medical site,” she says, adding that “often in these particular trials, (patients) will know what they were taking and hopefully be able to look it up after it is approved.

For Jesika Riley, Certified Clinical Research Coordinator, the long-term benefits of developing new treatments are just as important.

“It’s important to volunteer. I have to be thorough because I wouldn’t want the drug I’m studying now to be given to my grandchildren 40 years from now if it doesn’t really work,” she says. “What we do today will affect our children and grandchildren tomorrow.”

To see what current and future clinical trials are being conducted by Northern California Research and if you are eligible to participate, visit www.northerncaliforniaresearch.com or call 916-484-0500.

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