Annually across the globe billions of dollars are spent in the healthcare industry on tens of thousands of clinical trials - but how useful are they?
Professor Shaun Treweek, Chair in Health Services Research at the University of Aberdeen will discuss the need for a radical look at their process and methodology in a free talk on Wednesday (March 26).
The event, which begins at 6pm at the institution’s Suttie Centre lecture theatre, is part of Inspirational Inaugurals - a series of lectures from key new academic appointments to the University’s College of Life Sciences and Medicine.
Professor Treweek said: “Trials are essential to answer the question ‘does this work?’ and randomised controlled trials whereby volunteers are randomly given either the drug or treatment to be tested or a comparison treatment, are undoubtedly the best option.
“Globally, around 25,000 new trials are published every year and the process of running these trials has certainly come a long way since 18th century physician, James Lind compared lemons and horseradish as treatments for scurvy while on board the Salisbury in 1747.
“But what we are lacking is the evidence of how best to actually do a trial.
“Failings in how trials are designed and operate can ultimately make their results irrelevant. This is a shocking waste for the members of the public who have given up their time to be involved in something they hoped could provide a positive impact on their lives and future generations. It also, of course, wastes a lot of research resources.
“My talk will explore the history of trials, how they are designed and why they are essential for high quality healthcare before moving on to the challenges trials currently face and how those challenges might be addressed.”
Inspirational Inaugurals are the latest in a range of University of Aberdeen talks aimed at engaging the public with research. For more information see: www.engagingaberdeen.co.uk