Working on this month’s issue has certainly given me a new level of respect for all those physicians, researchers, and pharmacologists involved in clinical research and drug development. As I have met with experts and heard about the mountains of regulatory paperwork, the length of trials, the constant testing and retesting to find just the right formula, one thing became clear to me: dedication. It would be all too easy to stick with one’s own small piece of the puzzle, and to bask in the glory that brings. But to take that piece of the puzzle further, to find others who can help you complete the entire picture, takes time, constant dedication to the overall purpose, and, dare I say it, a certain amount of humility.
All too often, those of us who do not work in the medical field hear that a drug was “rushed through” to approval without proper testing, that pharmaceutical companies are more interested in the dollar than the patient. Yes, this is a big business industry, but while there are always exceptions, I would suggest that they are just that – exceptions. The people I have spoken to have all emphasized the constant oversight and regulatory approval needed for each tiny step, all to guarantee patient safety. Some have worked for years on a project that ultimately does not reach the commercial market. Does that mean it was time wasted? On the contrary, it still means new discoveries have been made, discoveries that will no doubt be useful when the next study begins.
Fiona Young-Brown, Editor, KY Doc Magazine