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Did you know…?

… that from initial discovery in the laboratory it takes on average 12 years to make a medicine available to patients?

To make sure that a medicine is effective at fighting disease and safe to consume, pharmaceutical companies have to spend years rigorously testing it in clinical trials. Statisticians have a very important role to play in designing these trials and analysing the data collected to obtain the evidence needed to show the medicines work.

On this site you can explore how statisticians use their mathematical skills to improve patients’ quality of life and to save lives.

Introduction to Clinical Trials

Testing a medicine in clinical trials is a very long and expensive task, requiring pharmaceutical companies, doctors, hospitals, healthy volunteers, and real patients to work together. The video below, made by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), gives an insight into this journey.

Clinical Trial Quick Facts

  • Usually the first people to try out a new medicine are healthy volunteersHealthy volunteers are used to find the maximum dose the body can tolerate, then this is used in trials on patients.
  • In a ‘gold standard’ clinical trial neither the patient nor the doctor knows whether the drug being administered is the new experimental one or the control treatment. This is called double blinding.
  • Clinical trials tend to be global, enrolling patients from many countries around the world.
  • It costs over $2.5 billion in research and development costs to bring a drug to market to be prescribed to patients.

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EventsFuture Events

  • Statistical Issues in Regulatory Submissions: Learning from the MHRA experience. - Dates: 10 Jun, 2019

    Based on the MHRA experience from hundreds of scientific advice meetings with industry and contributions to CHMP scientific advice, this one-day course will provide valuable insights to the most talked about methodological challenges facing applicants.
  • PSI Journal Club: PhD Webinar - Dates: 15 – 15 May, 2019

    Our next journal club is the inaugural PhD webinar, where we will share 4 topics with you from 4 PhD students. Our format will be slightly changed, with each student presenting for 10 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of discussion.

Leading Biostatistician with experience in Big Data and advanced analytics



Biostatistician with experience in clinical drug development



Senior / Principal Statistician – Centralised Statistical Monitoring (CSM)



Statistician Opportunities in the UK