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International Clinical Trials Day

Clinical Trials Day is celebrated around the world to recognise the day that James Lind started what is often considered the first randomized clinical trial aboard a ship on May 20, 1747.

Clinical trials are tests in which certain medications or supplements are tested by monitoring the effects among patients who have received the medication, and patients who have received a smaller dose or none at all.

Clinical Trials Day is about raising awareness for these trials, how they save lives, and how important they are to the medical industry and furthering medical research.

History of Clinical Trials Day

This day has quite a history attached to it – as it’s celebrating and observing an event that happened centuries ago – way back in the 1700s to be exact!

Back in 1747, one surgeon James Lind was working on the HMS Salisbury, a ship in Britain’s Royal Navy fleet. Patrolling the English channel, the ship’s seamen were working at a time when it was not at all uncommon for them to be struck down by the dreaded scurvy – and, quite often, be killed by it.

Scurvy is an unpleasant disease which comes about mainly due to a lack of vitamin C. Those who pass away due to it usually do so thanks to infection caused by gum disease and bleeding that it causes.

James Lind, a pioneer in naval hygiene, thought he knew how he might be able to treat it – but he needed some proof. So, he got together 12 affected men to run his test on, by giving some citrus fruits and some not. This was the first clinical test.

Read more about James Lind


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