San Francisco Chronicle Series Examines Safety of Human Clinical Trials
The San Francisco Chronicle this week published a three-part series that focused on the safety and oversight of human clinical trials. Summaries of the articles appear below:
- "Business of Clinical Trials Soars, But Risks Unknown": The article examines concerns that researchers "in a rush to discover new treatments may not be doing enough to ensure safety." Although an estimated 20 million Americans will participate in more than 41,000 clinical trials this year, even officials who run the regulatory systems designed to track medical trials are not sure how many volunteers will take part in the experiments and at what risk (Abate, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/4).
- "Rules for Clinical Trials Are Confusing, Inconsistent": The article looks at the rules concerning human trials, which are "so fragmented" that they may expose volunteers to "unnecessary risk." Critics of clinical trials note that rules protecting trial participants can "vary widely," depending on who sponsors the trial and where it takes place (Abate, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/5).
- "A Split Verdict on Clinical Trials": The article analyzes the "tough choice" of whether to participate in human trials. While there is "growing controversy" surrounding clinical trials, spurred by reports of violations, researchers maintain that such problems are rare (Tansey, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/6).