What is a Clinical Study?

A clinical study is a carefully-designed investigation to evaluate some aspect of the diagnosis or treatment for a specific medical problem. The goal is to find new and better ways to prevent, diagnose or treat important diseases of dogs and cats.

The purpose of a clinical study can vary. For example, the goal may be to determine the effectiveness of a new medication or combinations of medications. Clinical studies can also be used to determine how new procedures  can improve quality of life or shorten recovery time for surgical patients. The results from large, multi-center clinical studies are used by both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the approval process for new drugs and biologicals (vaccines, therapeutic antibodies) for companion animals.  Clinical studies used in the approval process are conducted according to the Good Clinical Practice (GCP) recommendations, a set of international guidelines that ensure the highest standards.

Participation in a clinical study is strictly voluntary and requires the pet owner’s written permission. Not every pet qualifies to participate in a clinical study. Communication between our doctors and the family veterinarian is maintained to determine what is best for the pet.

What are the Current Clinical Study at MedVet Hospitals?

Click here to see a list of the Clinical Trials currently being completed at our MedVet Hospitals.

What is the Benefit of Participating in a Clinical Study?

Participating in a clinical study can be very rewarding for you and your pet . You and your pet can help future veterinary patients and veterinarians. Indeed most of today’s medical and surgical treatments are available because of previous  patients’ participation in clinical studies.

MedVet’s Clinical Studies Center leads collaborative initiatives with our veterinary specialists and veterinarians worldwide. MedVet partners with a wide array of investigators, from university faculty members to biotech and pharma sponsors to complete clinical studies. The outcome of these important studies benefits our entire veterinary community by putting safer, more effective treatments into the hands of veterinarians here and around the world.

What are the Benefits to My Pet Participating in a Clinical Studies?

Clinical studies are well-designed to provide the best opportunity to play an active role in your pet’s health care and gain access to new treatments before they are widely available. Your pet will receive expert medical care and close monitoring. Patients enrolled into a clinical study may receive professional services, diagnostic testing, or medical treatments and medications at reduced or no cost, depending on the study.

What are the Disadvantages of My Pet Participating in a Clinical Study?

As with any medical treatment or procedure, clinical studies are not completely risk-free and may require extra time on your part. There may be side effects of the treatment being studied, or the new treatment may not be as effective as hoped. However, treatments used in clinical studies have been rigorously evaluated before advancing to the point of clinical evaluation. Also, clinical study patients are monitored very closely to minimize the chance of any negative effects and insure participating in the study is the best option for your pet’s ongoing health care.

How Do I Enroll My Pet a Clinical Study?

If your pet has a disease that is currently being studied at MedVet, have your veterinarian contact the primary veterinarian involved on the study. In concert with your veterinarian, the study veterinarian can help determine if your pet is a possible candidate for the study. Then you would meet with the clinical investigative team at MedVet to discuss the study details. You will sign an “informed owner’s consent” document if you decide to have your pet participate.  Depending on the specific study, there may be some screening diagnostics to be completed before you pet becomes enrolled.  For example, a patient with kidney disease might not be eligible for study, so a simple blood test would be part of the screening process.

Can I Withdraw My Pet from a Clinical Study After it Has Started?

Yes. You have the right to withdraw from a clinical study at any time for any reason.