Clinical Investigation article reviews HIV clinical trials in Africa
The article states that much learning was gained through monitoring these studies by the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit at University College London. The article identifies and offers solutions for the design and application challenges that result from conducting clinical trials within a developing country.
"The challenges faced in clinical trial design and implementation - such as compliance, language barriers, accessibility of trial sites and costs - can be exaggerated in trials in developing nations," Clinical Investigation Editor Stella Bennett said. "The lessons presented in this article can be usefully applied to fields such as neglected tropical disease, and in cases such as the recent Ebola crisis, insights into best-practice clinical trial collaborations are invaluable."
The article's authors review the approaches to monitoring trial data that are now in use, using a combination of on-site and database monitoring. The team also designed tools and templates to supplement trial protocols and help standardize trial processes.
"We have learned a lot from monitoring several complex HIV clinical trials in Africa, and hope that others will benefit by learning about our experiences," Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit Researcher Margaret Thomason said. Thomason was lead author of the article. "We encourage more trial teams globally to publish their practical observations so that best practice can be improved upon."
Further details are available in Future Science Group's journal.