Clinical research is a branch of healthcare science that determines the safety and effectiveness of medications, devices, diagnostic products and treatment regimens intended for human use. These may be used for prevention, treatment, diagnosis or for relieving symptoms of a disease. Clinical Research is different from clinical practice. In clinical practice one uses established treatments, while in clinical research evidence is collected to establish a treatment.
The term clinical research refers to the entire bibliography of a drug/device/biologic, in fact any test article from its inception in the lab to its introduction to the consumer market and beyond. Once the promising candidate or the molecule is identified in the lab, it is subjected to pre-clinical studies or animal studies where different aspects of the test article (including its safety toxicity if applicable and efficacy, if possible at this early stage) are studied.
Reproducibility is an important element of clinical research. It is necessary that others be able to reproduce experiments to test the results. Clinical researchers should describe the interventions used, the statistical tests used, as well as the results obtained so that other researchers can examine their results for methodological rigor and allow reproducibility.