ACMR was recently featured on “The Weekly Check-Up with Dr. Bruce Feinberg” on WSB-AM 750 and 95.5 FM. Director of Operations, Eric Riesenberg, and Pharmacy Manager, Dr. Hagar Badawy, sat down with guest host Dr. Scott Miller of Georgia Urology on the May 29 show.
ACMR is the largest independent clinical research center in the world and draws participants from all over the Southeast, including Tennessee, Alabama, the Carolinas, and Florida. While most clinical trials are pharmaceutical-related, there are also studies involving devices, quality of living, questionnaires, etc.
Dr. Badawy briefly explained the testing process any treatment must go through before approval. There are four phases of testing and only about 8 percent of drugs that attempt to go through actually make it to market. When a treatment is being tested at ACMR, patients can be reassured that it has already gone through extensive safety testing before even reaching this stage.
“Coming from an idea to a marketable product takes years…I’ve seen it take ten-plus years,” Riesenberg added.
He also reported, “safety is paramount” at ACMR; there are multiple controls in place to ensure risk is minimized for every participant. The state of the art facility was also designed with amenities, such as room service and private rooms, for the comfort of all participants.
Dr. Badawy stressed the benefits of clinical trials to participants, including free transportation and no insurance requirement. “You just have to come to us, tell us a little bit about what’s going on, and we’ll try to find a good fit for you. If you haven’t been able to find an answer somewhere else, you can come (to ACMR),” she said.
Trials at ACMR allow participants access to potentially effective treatments that are not otherwise available to them. For example, some upcoming trials at ACMR involve biologics which are organisms that, when injected, can perform certain functions in the body. These periodic, injectable treatments can replace a daily medication for someone with a condition such as diabetes.
Riesenberg reported people with symptoms of certain conditions come in all the time to see if they qualify for a study; participants do not necessarily need a prior diagnosis. Some patients have even told him, “This is the best doctors visit I’ve ever had,” because of the uninterrupted, personalized attention they received.
Listeners in the Atlanta-area called in with questions for Riesenberg and Dr. Badawy; the first caller, Angie, asked about finding a trial for those with glaucoma. Another caller, Don, said his wife suffers from peripheral neuropathy and they’ve been unable to find an effective treatment for her. In each of these cases, Dr. Badawy encouraged them to contact ACMR to learn about available trials. Even if there is no trial currently underway for a condition, ACMR will keep information on file and contact participants if a trial would be a good fit for them, she said. We get new studies all the time.
One listener, Kathleen, called in to ask about Alzheimer’s testing; Riesenberg and Dr. Badawy suggested she get tested as soon as possible. There is even a 15-minute paper assessment available at ACMR. There are many clinical trial options available, and they are even starting to look at patients during the earliest onset stages.
They encouraged another caller, Zach, to reach out to ACMR and join a trial that is currently running for those with osteoarthritis.
Dr. Badawy explained the process of joining a study at ACMR. First, an interested participant will speak to the recruitment and intake team, either over the phone or one-on-one in the clinic. From there, if you qualify for a study, you will begin the enrollment process, which involves going over your medical history, checking safety concerns, time constraints, etc. to ensure the study is right for you.
Some of the most popular current trials are for migraines, impaired liver function, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, psoriasis, COPD, diabetes and asthma. If you have symptoms of any of these conditions, or another condition, we encourage you to visit our website or call us at 404-881-5800 to talk to someone about a clinical trial that would fit your needs.
ACMR also participates in education events and health fairs to teach people about the benefits of clinical trials. If you are interested in having an ACMR team speak to your organization, contact us at 404-881-5800.
You can listen to the full interview at:http://www.weeklycheckup.com/blog/2016/52916-eric-riesenberg-and-dr-hagar-badawy-of-the-atlanta-center-for-medical-research/