OVER 100 pioneering clinical trials are taking place at the Western Trust, it has emerged.
Local health officials have now urged patients not to write off taking part in such studies.
New information released by the Trust shows that there are 60 drug, treatment and therapy trials being started locally every year, with the bulk of research carried out at Altnagelvin Hospital.
The Trust is marking International Clinical Trials Day today by encouraging patients to find out more about clinical research and to raise awareness of its importance to health care.
An information stand has been erected at Altnagelvin Hospital today for patients and the public to find out more.
Dr Maurice O’Kane, Western Trust Director for Research and Development said: “Clinical trials are essential for developing better tests and treatments for disease.
“Patients who participate in clinical trials have an opportunity to access cutting edge developments.”
He added: “The Western Trust is strongly committed to clinical research and has an active research programme with around 120 studies on-going at any one time and approximately 60 new studies starting every year.”
The Western Trust is also supporting the Public Health Agency (PHA) campaign to promote the fact that ‘It’s OK to Ask’ about clinical research.
Dr O’Kane continued: “We have a large team of research staff - medical, nursing, pharmacy, laboratory - undertaking research in a range of disease areas and purpose built facilities at the Clinical Translational and Research and Innovation Centre [C-TRIC] on the Altnagelvin Hospital campus.
“I am keen that as many patients as possible should have the opportunity to take part in research studies. Anyone who is interested should ask their doctor or nurse for more information.”
Western Trust Research and Development Manager Sally Doherty added: “If you have a condition and are undergoing treatment, we would encourage you to ask your Nurse or Doctor about clinical trials or other research studies, and whether they are right for you.”