On this day in 1747, James Lind, a Scottish physician, began what is now generally recognized as the first clinical trial. Among other things, his study of British sailors would provide evidence via a systematic experiment that scurvy could be treated by eating citrus fruits. While it had been generally recognized since antiquity in some parts of the world that citrus staved off this seaman's scourge, Lind's work contributed to creating a more systematic means of helping to ensure the health of the Royal Navy. In turn, one could argue Lind's experiment helped enable Britannia to rule the waves – and thereby European politics – for quite some time to come.
A monumental effect from individual, exacting work and observation: two hundred and sixty seven years later, the world readily turns to the work of so many individuals to advance our ability to deal with other health scourges – cancer and rare diseases, among so many others. Whatever your contribution to our industry – whether you are a study coordinator reviewing an ICF with a potential participant, a clinical trial manager juggling numerous priorities to get the data in, or a physician developing a protocol for the next phase of research for your company's compound – it's worth taking a moment today, International Clinical Trials Day, to recognize the importance of your work. And, to help raise awareness of the important contributions of clinical trials throughout the world.
BBK has always seen educating both the industry and the public as an imperative – whether conducting surveys about the public's willingness to participate in clinical research or about ethics committees' willingness to approve recruitment materials and advertising in their respective countries, or by participating in conferences on innovation, or human research protection programs.
These days, we're heavily focused on leveraging social media and advocacy relationship building to raise awareness of clinical trials with both the general public and health care providers. But whether that comes in the form of a state-of-the-art app, or a service that connects investigators with referring physicians via that old-fashioned medium, the telephone, our ultimate goal remains the same: enable everyone to communicate more effectively about the opportunities that clinical trials offer to the right individuals. Because the better everyone understands the treatment development process, the more rapid our strides to treatment breakthrough – and the more monumental our effect on the health of the world.