As part of TCIDA’s focus on excellence in care and our commitment to bring the very latest in medical advances to our patients, TCIDA has participated in clinical trials since 1998. We have conducted hundreds of studies in the areas of HIV infection, hepatitis C, C-diff as well as various antibiotic trials, in all phases (I, II, III, and IV) of investigation, and continue to actively participate in numerous studies.
Q & A with Dr. Cheryl McDonald, Director of Research at TCIDA (August 8, 2019)
Question 1: How is a private Infectious Disease practice like TCIDA selected by another research entity (i.e. government agencies, universities, research institutions, and/or pharmaceutical companies) to collaborate on a research study? Does it mean something just to be selected as a research partner?
Yes. For over 20 years, TCIDA has been participating in ethical research that respects the patients’ values and autonomy. In that time, we have partnered with at least 16 different pharmaceutical companies and in the process, we’ve built a reputation of compliance and integrity.
Question 2: What are the biggest benefits to the patient from TCIDA participating in research?
Participating in research enables TCIDA to consistently stay on the cutting edge of therapeutics. Additionally, we have earlier access to innovative therapies and newer or not-yet-approved drugs. Also, patients participating in a research study get all of their medications and visits covered under the study protocol, and a patient need not have medical insurance to participate. As a result, it has been a nice way to provide care for people. And, participation is entirely voluntary, so a patient can opt to participate in studies for which he/she qualifies, and the patient can opt to leave the research study at any time.
Question 3: How extensive is TCIDA’s participation in infectious disease research?
At any given time, TCIDA typically has 120 to 150 patients participating in research trials. We typically have 13 to 15 ongoing trials at any given time. Many of our research trials are multi-site studies, often international, involving both private practice as well as many university sites as equal participants.
Question 4: Has research conducted at TCIDA let to any key advancement in treatment?
Yes, TCIDA has participated in the development trials for most of the current state-of-the-art HIV medications presently being used.
Question 5: What staff resources has TCIDA allocated to Research?
As an MD, I have been the Principal Investigator (PI) dedicated heading all of our research studies at TCIDA for 20 years. In addition, TCIDA has 2 full time Research Coordinators who are both ACRP certified and have 15-20 years of experience each. Finally, most of the TCIDA physicians regularly participate in research in the Sub-Investigator (Sub-I) role, so it really is a team effort.