Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials in Massachusetts
A Patient, Clinician and Legislator Praise the Benefits of Clinical Trials
11.13.13 | By Jeff Trewhitt
The report, "Research in Your Backyard: Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials in Massachusetts," shows widespread clinical research underway throughout the state, including Worcester where we released the report yesterday with the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Our biopharmaceutical research companies have conducted more than 4,700 trials of new medicines across the state, including nearly 500 in Worcester, over the last 14 years.
I could go on about the importance and value of those numbers, but this time, I'm going to let some of the key players in Massachusetts clinical research do that for us. Showing both emotion and humor, they lauded the benefits for both patients and local economies:
State Representative John Mahoney: "As someone who grew up in Worcester, it's fair to say the most tangible economic growth over the last 25 years is the result of the collaboration between the fields of medical research and the development of new drugs and therapies. These are jobs that provide economic security and a meaningful career path. ... What really motivates the researchers in these jobs beyond a paycheck is trying to bring hope and cures to patients who are suffering."
Dr. Margaret Koziel, professor of medicine and director of clinical research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester: "I actually think I have the greatest job in the world. I get to wake up every day and say, 'How do I make life better for patients? We are tackling all sorts of diseases in Worcester. If you're a cancer patient and you're very sick and you have a family, you want to do this locally. You don't want to have to drive downtown in Boston and park. It's good for the residents of our city to have access to these cutting-edge therapies. In the last three years, the number of clinical trials at U-Mass has tripled."
Jack Whelan, a survivor of a very rare, incurable cancer, clinical trial patient and eloquent advocate of trials, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society volunteer and a very funny guy: "I'm like the guy the preacher puts on stage and says, 'We saved his ass!" .... I started on chemotherapy and spent many hours in a fusion room. I'm now a big fan of clinical trials. It was the targeted medicines that became available through clinical trials that I thought were the best approach.
I began to see myself as a survivor rather than a patient."
Page last updated 11/15/13 ~ 13:26 pm EST