At Novartis, we are determined to help people in the UK and around the world who live with many different conditions to improve and extend their lives. A critical part of this ambition is our programme of clinical research.
Clinical trials are fundamental to the development of new medicines and help to enhance the quality of, or even prolong life,1 while progressing scientific understanding and enabling earlier access to new, innovative medicines.2,3 Clinical research can also provide a vital ‘life-line’ and an alternative treatment approach for many patients.3
Clinical trials are at the foundation of some of the biggest medical advances seen over the last four to five decades. Novartis is committed to using science-based innovation to improve research and develop innovative medicines for some of the most difficult-to-treat diseases, with many studies being conducted in the UK.
Dr Mark Toms, Chief Scientific Officer, Novartis UK
CLINICAL TRIALS: THE FACTS
Without clinical trials, many of the medicines we rely on today would not exist.1 Clinical trials ensure that medicines are generally well tolerated and effective, and that new, innovative treatments are continuously being developed for people with different illnesses.4,5
At Novartis, we understand that involvement in clinical trials might naturally create apprehension among patients and their families, friends or carers. We have listened to common queries regarding clinical trials and this page provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
CLINICAL TRIALS IN PHASES4,5,6
Clinical trials are divided into phases, ranging from 1 to 4, also written as phase I-IV. Earlier phases determine the safety of a treatment and any potential side effects, while later stages examine whether a new medicine is more effective than existing therapies.
NOVARTIS AND CLINICAL TRIALS
At Novartis, we are committed to progressing scientific research and are the leading commercial clinical trials sponsor in the UK, supporting around 10% of all such studies.7 Conducting clinical trials locally can lead to improved quality of care for patients in those communities, so we’re proud to have supported over 1,000 UK clinical trial sites for studies in more than 60 disease areas.8,9
Through our research – which has collected 2 million patient-years of data over the past two decades10 – advances for many diseases have been made possible, giving people in the UK and around the world alternative and improved treatment options.
Novartis makes every effort to comply with national and international standards for disclosure of clinical trial information. Results are made publicly available whatever the outcome. Access to this information helps people to make informed decisions about potential treatment options and participation in clinical studies.
THE NOVARTIS COMMITMENT TO PATIENTS AND CAREGIVERS
At Novartis, we are dedicated to developing innovative treatments that help to improve the lives of people with serious diseases. As a company, we value the role of patients and the experienced insight they can bring to our medical research. We seek input into the design of patient-facing materials and in some cases, we invite patient input into trial design as well to ensure they are practical for the participant.