Specialists in Gastroenterology regularly participates in clinical trials. Clinical trials are conducted to allow safety and efficacy data to be collected for new drugs, medical devices, or surgical procedures and treatments. These trials can only take place once satisfactory information has been gathered on the quality of the product and its non-clinical safety, and Health Authority/Ethics Committee approval is granted in the country where the trial is taking place.
Depending on the type of product and the stage of its development, investigators enroll healthy volunteers and/or patients into small pilot studies initially, followed by larger scale studies in patients that often compare the new product with the currently prescribed treatment. As positive safety and efficacy data are gathered, the number of patients is typically increased. Clinical trials can vary in size from a single center in one country to multicenter trials in multiple countries.