Tricot of COVID-19: Clinical trials & pharmacist


Everything was going in a harmonious way around the globe, suddenly, a bolt from the blue, COVID-19 pandemic came into the forefront and halted the progress of 7 billion people as well as plunged the planet into the fold of lockdown. It is highly flabbergasting that COVID-19 pandemic took the centre stage in the arena of international politics and put all sensitive issues of the world under the clouds. This newly emerged virus has snatched the happiness of the world and compelled the global economy in the pit of obscurity.
The ferociousness of this deadly virus can easily be palpable from the fact that within a span of 2 to 3 months it has engulfed over 2 million people and took the lives of 2 lakhs. The world is trying to disentangle the humanity from the trap of this deadly virus as soon as possible but, unfortunately; success has so far not been achieved. Hopes are very much in the air.
It is evident beyond the shred of doubt that the role of a Pharmacist is very crucial and critical now-a-days, especially in the development of new drug. Pharmacist holds the vanguard position in the augmentation as well as clinical trials of any new drug regarding any disease. Lamentably in Pakistan, Pharmacist has not given its due share in the research of research and power too. It is actually the Pharmacist who chalks out various procedures involved in the development of new drug. Now a day’s everyone is eagerly waiting for some miracle which can easily root out COVID-19 pandemic from the face of the earth. No doubt it is a herculean task which requires some gigantic effort in the right direction. In the meantime it is also to be worth mentioning here that there is no silver bullet to eradicate this deadly virus.
It is prerequisite to first highlight the procedure through which any new drug came into the market and to remove doubts and misconceptions. For the development of any new medicine involves various phases. Additionally, there are different phases of clinical trials depending upon drug. Phase 1 is called as pharmacology phase in which Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of drug has been determined. In this stage 200-100 volunteers are injected with the drug, Success rate: approximately 70% of the drug move from phase1 to phase 2. Phase 2 is known as exploratory phase in which safety and efficacy of the drug is ensured. This stage needs 2 years for successful testing approximately 33% moves to phase 3. Furthermore, phase 3 is confirmatory phase and contains total time span of 1 to 4 years in which 300 to 3000 individuals are exposed to drug, success rate is 25-30%. Lastly, in the end phase 4 is post-marketing surveillance in which efficiency of the drug is further ensured.
So from the aforementioned discussion it can be ascertained that in the near future availability of any new drug or vaccine to fight COVID-19 pandemic is not possible. It requires some time.
But, the famous dictum when there is a will there is a way. No doubt it is a hard time for the world community and great responsibility too, on the shoulders of world governments to save the humanity from the clutches of COVID-19.
Firstly, in the current scenario lockdown is the most suitable option which can obstruct its further spread. Secondly, especially in Pakistan people are still not taking it seriously, despite, knowing the fact it wrecked the social fabric of the world. Government must use the platform of media to start the awareness campaign throughout the country. Lastly, government ought to establish Pharmaceutical research centre like government hospitals which also generate revenue, all across the country under the umbrella of Health Ministry where studies on the formulation of new drug has been carried out. In addition to this, it not creates new employment but also bring pharmaceutical revolution in the country.