We offer virtual consultation to help patients whose physical limitations make travel to the clinic impossible
BCDiabetes is very active in clinical trials of new treatments, medications, and devices. For patients, this means access to investigational medications that may not yet be on the market, or new treatments that are not part of standard care.
While the idea that these treatments may not be fully tested according to Canadian standards can make people uncomfortable, many investigational drugs that we test have already been approved for routine use in other jurisdictions across the United States and Europe. This can be attributed to the fact that Canada’s approval process is often slower and more rigorous than most.
Further, all studies are approved by an independent ethics committee before they begin. This process, which can be quite involved, is designed to determine, first, if the results that will come from the study justify any real or perceived risks to participants in the study. The protocol for the trial, typically a highly detailed document, is studied in great detail to ensure that patients are safe at every stage of the process. Finally, should any change be required to the protocol once the study has begun, a request to include such changes must be submitted separately to the ethics panel to be sure that any potential risks are appropriately managed.
Most studies are randomized controlled trials. In such investigations, patients are assigned randomly either to the treatment under test, or to the control group, which typically receives current standard care. Because this randomization process is essential to the proper function of such a trial, this also means that volunteers are unable to choose whether they will be given the investigational drug, or if they will be assigned to the control. In fact, even the investigators are frequently blinded to the treatment that a specific patient will be given, nor do they have any control over the randomization process that will assign patients to treatment within the trial. Rather, randomization is typically performed by a computer application. However, the odds that a patient will get the investigational new drug are at least 50/50, and usually better.
Reimbursement for travel, parking, and other expenses is available. In addition, blood glucose meters, test-strips, and in some cases regular diabetes medication are provided at no charge during the trial. Enrolment in a clinical trial means changing your medication, your routine, or some other aspect of your care to measure for improvement, so that the results can benefit patients with diabetes in Canada and around the world.
To sign up for clinical trials, you must first register as a patient. If you are eligible for a trial, we will send you an invitation to participate.