Pharmaceutical research is continually working to improve our way of life by easing symptoms, preventing disease, and controlling the way our bodies function. New pharmaceuticals are being developed and tested all of the time. Here are a few steps that new pharmaceuticals must face before reaching the drug store.
By the time a new drug has complete its pharmaceutical research on non-human subjects, it is time to face the last three phases before it can actually hit the market. These phases mark the different levels of clinical trials with differences in the number of participants and what they are actually looking for in the results.
Phase one of pharmaceutical research is used to determine the safety of the product. During this phase participants will be monitored for changes in their health as a result of the drug. Here, they are basically looking for possible side effects. Phase one includes a smaller number of participants who may be completely healthy.
During phase two of the pharmaceutical research trials a larger number of participants are monitored to determine how well the drug works on its actual target. During this time, the affects of the drug may be compared to the current treatments or to a placebo. A placebo is a sugar pill that is used to determine if factors are attributable to taking any pill or if they are an actual result of the new drug.
Phase three only occurs when both previous phases have been completed with successful outcomes. This phase looks at all aspects and includes a great number of participants that may include a variety of locations and cultures. These phases include such a large number of participants because they are looking for very slight trends and patterns in data. This will help them catch any data they did not catch in the previous trials now that they are at the last phase.