Drug testing

By Alexia Salem

DRUGS & DRUG TESTING

A drug is a substance which changes the chemical process in people's bodies. Scientists are continually developing new drugs. These need to be throughly tested in a series of stages to find out if they are SAFE and if they are EFFECTIVE.


A drug test is a technical analysis of a biological specimen, for example urine, hair, blood, breath air, sweat, or oral fluid / saliva – to determine the presence or absence of specified parent drugs or their metabolites.

- Wikipedia

BLIND & DOUBLE BLIND TRIAL

In a blind trial, the volunteers whether they are in the control or experimental group but the researchers do. The problem is the researchers may give away clues to the volunteers without realising it. In a double-blind trial, the volunteers do not know which group they are in, and neither do the researchers, until the end of the trial. This removes the chance of bias and makes the results more reliable. But double-blind trials are more complex to set up.


In most cases, double-blind experiments are held to achieve a higher standard of scientific rigor than blind or non-blind experiments. In these double-blind experiments, neither the participants nor the researchers know which participants belong to the control group, nor the test group.

- Wikipedia

THE MAIN STAGES IN THE TESTING OF A NEW DRUG

1. Laboratory - animals of tissues used in a laboratory to find out the level of toxicity and to find out if the drug works.

2. Phase 1 Clinical - low doses are tested on a small group of healthy people to evaluate its safety, and identify side affects.

3. Phase 2 Clinical - tested on a larger group of people to see if it is effective, to further evaluate its safety and to determine the optimum dose.

4. Phase 3 Clinical - tested on large groups of people to confirm its effectiveness and monitor side effects.