Over the last 18 months we have become more and more aware of the world of medical research. With the covid pandemic sweeping across the globe in a matter of weeks, the race was on to find treatment to help those who became very ill and then a vaccine to help save lives.

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Paid Research Studies and clinical trials are the ways in which these treatments and vaccines are tried, tested and then reported on to see whether they are safe to use, have an impact on the conditions that they are aimed to help & whether they can be rolled out for wider use. There are a number of different phases that trials go through.

Phase 1 – this is where a small number of healthy volunteers are given small doses of the medicine. The researchers will check the participants for any sides and then work out the right dose to be given to people.

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Phase 2 – a larger number of people who are ill with the condition the medicine is aimed at are given the medicine to see whether it has short term positive effects on their condition.

Phase 3 – once phases 1 & 2 have been successful a larger number of people who are ill are placed into two groups. One group is given the medicine being trialled and the other given either an existing drug or a placebo.

Phase 4 – the medicine is checked for safety, effectiveness and any side effects whilst being used in everyday practice. This phase only occurs for drugs that have passed the other phases and are being put forward for a pharmaceutical licence.