Few industries are as dependent on research as the health sector. It is from these emerging new drugs and procedures that permit progress in curing disease and improving quality of life of patients. Despite the recognition of the importance of this activity, sometimes raise questions about what is acceptable and what limits should guide new experiments.
These discussions have a positive point of the fact shed light on a topic rarely discussed by society: the roads to get to innovations in medicine. The debate focuses on two main axes. On one side are the ethical and security issues that should be respected by those involved in the study of new procedures, techniques and medications. The other is the unpredictability inherent to the processes l age and experimental situations where the results are not yet fully known, but have potential gains for patients. After all, much of what is used today in medicine has been the subject of studies and experiences someday.
So with the minimally invasive surgeries such as laparoscopy, the drugs against cancer, hemodialysis equipment and stents used to unblock arteries, just to name a few. Most important in this scenario is to ensure that, whatever the purpose, experimental procedures related to human health will be surrounded by all necessary care – and they are.
The hospitals and centers involved in research in medical ethics committees are responsible for verifying the implementation of rigorous protocols and standards of conduct. These committees represent the interests, integrity and dignity of individuals involved in research and contribute to the development of research within ethical standards. In Brazil, these bodies are subordinate to the National Research Ethics, linked to the National Health Council, which regulates and monitors. The main concern of these bodies with regard to testing in humans, which usually happens in later stages of research, when they have been found by other means certain safety and efficacy of the product or procedure.
Laparoscopy, cancer drugs, hemodialysis equipment and stents are examples of progress provided by studies.
In addition to strict ethical standards and safety, it is important to ensure that the individual who applies for a test – for a new drug or an experimental procedure – be aware of the benefits, difficulties and risks involved in that process. Another concern is to accurately assess what benefits the patient will be using the new, mainly in the evolution of their disease.
After all, it is the undisputed importance of scientific research to leverage innovations in medicine, it is also undeniable how they should be conducted, according to the highest principles of ethics and safety, bearing in mind that the benefit to the patient is the ultimate goal of these studies.