Advance Online
Advance Online

Clinical Trials for Potential Psoriasis Treatments

Have you ever wondered about the role clinical trials might play in your treatment?

A guest post from Clinically Media

Clinical trials are a crucial part in bringing new treatments to market, understanding diseases and symptoms, and advancing medicine. Participants play a major role in making this possible, but there are common misconceptions about clinical research, how to get involved, and the safety measures in place. Did you know that without clinical trials and clinical trial participants, you wouldn’t have your reliable psoriasis treatments?

How do people typically find out about clinical trials? 

There are many avenues to learn about clinical trials. The most common routes include from a health care provider, paid advertisement, social media campaign, or partnerships with advocacy groups that represent people living with a particular disease or illness. 

Who is involved in a clinical trial?

There are many people and organizations that work together collaboratively to make clinical trials and new medicines possible. Scientists and researchers at pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies are usually at the forefront of clinical research efforts. They rigorously investigate potential new treatments or devices in a laboratory before bringing the new molecule or device to humans. This is the preclinical stage.

 When the potential treatment is ready to start the first step in a clinical trial, known as Phase 1, these companies connect with research sites, such as health care provider offices or research universities. This is where the clinical trial will happen and often where participants will go during the clinical study. 

 To connect participants with these research sites, recruitment and retention agencies will design and develop outreach campaigns to educate people about the available clinical trial.

Is it safe to join a clinical trial?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that any study involving human participants be reviewed and monitored by an ethics committee, also known as the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB consists of at least five members and must have at least one scientist and one member with a nonscience background. The IRB varies for each institution and study, but all IRBs are tasked with the responsibility to protect participants’ rights and wellbeing. From the study protocol to the images of a paid advertisement to the questions on a pre-qualification form, the IRB reviews every participant-facing item. When reviewing these materials, the IRB can approve, disapprove, or require modifications to any or all materials. 

In brief, the IRB closely observes clinical trials to best ensure the safety of participants. Moreover, while participating in a clinical trial, people experience many visits with health care providers to monitor their overall health and any potential reactions to the investigational treatment. 

Now, why are clinical trials important for people with psoriasis?

As mentioned, more research leads to more treatments and a greater understanding of diseases, including psoriasis. There are hundreds of clinical trials right now for investigational psoriasis medications. While there are many treatments available today, not all of these treatments work for every person. Moreover, people may need to change their treatment plan if a medication becomes ineffective. Researchers are investigating other potential treatments that may be more effective and safer. The research also helps advance medicine towards finding a cure for psoriasis. 

Psoriasis clinical trials must be appropriately representative of the population it is serving, and psoriasis can affect anyone of any race, ethnicity, age, or gender. Clinical trials have historically underrepresented, excluded, and even exploited marginalized communities. Today, there are still many communities who are underrepresented in clinical research, including in psoriasis clinical trials. For example, according to a 2022 systematic review and meta-analysis of nail psoriasis clinical trials, roughtly only 35.6% of studies reported the participants race/ethnicity. Also, according to a review of Phase 3 plaque psoriasis clinical trials in 2021, people of color were underrepresented in the patient populations.

Fortunately, the industry is taking steps to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), including translating materials, increasing accessibility, continuing education, and more. Additionally, the FDA released a draft guidance in April 2022 urging the industry to take more steps to increase accessibility. While there have been efforts to improve DEI in clinical research, there is a lot more work left to do.

Potential Benefits of Joining a Clinical Trial

Clinical trials play an important role in informing researchers and health care providers about how a new treatment may improve the health of those living with psoriatic disease. Along with providing support for research, participating in a clinical trial also offers you access to new treatments and extra time with health care providers.

Find a Trial or Explore Your Options

Interested in joining a psoriasis clinical trial near you, or simply looking to learn more?

More on clinical trials

Stay in the Know.

Expert tips, can’t-miss events and the latest news, straight to your inbox.

National Health Council Standards of ExcellenceCharity NavigatorCommunity Health Charities logoTwill Care logo

Copyright © 1996-2022 National Psoriasis Foundation/USA

Duplication, rebroadcast, republication or other use of content appearing on this website is prohibited without written permission of the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF).

NPF does not endorse or accept any responsibility for the content of external websites.

NPF does not endorse any specific treatments or medications for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

We use cookies to offer you a better experience and analyze our site traffic. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.