Veterinary clinical studies (or trials) are research projects that test the safety and effectiveness of new approaches to animal healthcare and can involve the use of a new animal drug, device, biological agent, diet, or a behavior change.
Test substances in a clinical study have already been studied in a laboratory setting or a limited field study, such as a pilot study. When initial results are promising -and after agreement with regulatory authorities- they require to be studied in a field environment: a clinical field effectiveness study.
A clinical investigator is a veterinarian who is conducting clinical studies in animals according to Good Clinical Practices (VICH GL9). The study site will be their veterinary clinic, hospital, or a university setting.
The reasons why investigators choose to participate in clinical studies can be divided into four key areas.1
1. Benefits for pets (patients)
Whether it is for diseases that currently do not have a successful treatment yet or to find a new solution for a patient that doesn’t respond well to existing treatments, participating in clinical trials provides veterinarians and pet owners with access to new and cutting-edge therapies that may benefit these patients. Not only could it solve a problem for the participating animal, but also for other pets once the product is approved and on the market.
2. Benefits for patient owners
Veterinarians and their staff want to take care of every patient, but unfortunately not every owner can afford treatment. A study conducted in 2018 shows that almost 28 percent of households with pets experience barriers to veterinary care, with finances being the most common reason.2 Clinical studies include no cost study treatment, no cost study-related care, and often provide additional compensation for owners.
3. Personal and professional development
Investigators and their staff indicate that it is rewarding to be involved in innovation and new technologies.1 They feel proud to have contributed to the veterinary knowledge base, and to new products that come to market that will potentially help millions of animals. Additionally, participating in clinical research gives the opportunity to veterinarians and other clinic staff to develop knowledge and skills in new areas of veterinary disease and therapies. This opportunity can increase staff engagement, which is crucial in attracting and retaining talent.
4. Financial benefits
Participating in clinical trials can offer an additional revenue stream to the veterinary practice.
It’s a myth that a big practice or a big team is required to be involved in clinical trials. There are clinics with only one or two veterinarians and a small number of veterinary technicians, that run studies as part of their regular veterinary responsibilities. There are also veterinary clinics that have a designated team of veterinarians, technicians, and a clinical study coordinator, whose focus is solely on clinical studies.
Common traits of investigators are their interest in science and innovation, drive to go the extra mile for their clients and patients, and eagerness to contribute to the advancement of the veterinary profession.
At Argenta, we partner with each investigator to make sure that they are set up for success, regardless of the size of the veterinary clinic. From clear study protocols and a designated Clinical Research Associate (CRA) to finding the right study and patient population while supporting the clinic with patient recruitment and enrollment.
Argenta believes that the journey to healthier animals begins with human relationships. That’s why we focus on close partnerships and collaboration with veterinarians and their staff to advance animal health through clinical study participation.
Are you interested in learning more about becoming an investigator? Please contact us or visit us at the VMX in Orlando (January 14-18, 2023):
- Booth 4644
- Lecture by MelindaPoole: “Clinical Trials as a part of your veterinary practice” // Monday 16January, 3:30 pm, Community Theater
1. Argenta qualitative research (interviews) among veterinary investigators
2. Maddie's Fund and The University of Tennessee, College of Social Work, Access toVeterinary Care: Barriers, Current Practices, and Public Policy, 2018