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New opportunities for Nova Scotians to become involved in clinical research trials

True North Clinical Research expands their scope of research
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Many people rely on prescription medications to help them manage their healthcare, but we don’t often think about the long path it takes for these medications to get to us.

Researchers and physicians work together through the many steps it takes for a prescription medication to move from its conception to becoming a safe treatment. One of the essential steps that is required is a clinical research trial.

Expanding the Scope of Local Clinical Research Trials

In the past, True North Clinical Research here in Nova Scotia (now Centricity Research) has focused primarily on clinical research trials that help to test the safety and efficacy of medications related to memory loss and movement disorders. Now that they have aligned with Centricity Research, True North has begun to broaden their research into many other areas.

Centricity Research, which is the largest consolidated research network in North America, performs clinical trials in a number of medical specialties including infectious diseases, neurology, endocrinology, oncology, cardiology, dermatology, women’s health, and vaccines.

Heather Rushton, Patient Engagement Supervisor for Centricity Research explains. “The alignment with Centricity Research has opened many doors to new therapeutic areas and there are now greater opportunities for our Nova Scotia sites to be involved in testing treatments for other conditions,” she says. “It is for this reason that the New Minas site is now working to build a general research database in order to collect information about different health conditions that may exist in the local community and potentially get involved in treatment trials for those conditions.”

Health Record Database Connects Interested Patients with Volunteer Research Opportunities

In order to create these databases, True North Clinical Research is working with local family physicians’ offices who help them to connect with interested patients. Physicians introduce interested patients with the research team at True North who then ask the patient some general questions about their medical history. The information is stored securely using Electronic Medical Records (EMRs).

“Building a database allows Centricity Research to search for patients who may be eligible to screen for a study. For example, if Centricity Research is involved in a study that is testing medications related to hypertension, the research team could use the database to look for patients with abnormal blood pressure,” explains Heather.

One of the physicians who is helping Centricity Research build this important database is Dr. Melanie MacNeil at Harvest Tides Family Practice in New Minas. Dr. MacNeil specializes in obesity medicine. She has been connecting some of her patients with the team at Centricity so they can be added to the database and hopefully one day benefit from participation in a clinical research trial.

To learn more about getting involved in research at True North, visit the “Interested in Research” section of their website or call 1-855-378-8783 to be connected to a patient navigator.

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