What is a phase 4 clinical trial?

In a phase 4 trial, any rare or long-term effects of the drug can be seen in a much larger population of patients and over a much longer period of time. If safety surveillance reveals concerns about the drug, it may be recalled and no longer available with a prescription. Human tests performed after a drug (or other treatment) has already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is being marketed for sale. Phase 4 trials are conducted to determine long-term safety and efficacy and to identify adverse effects that may not have been evident in previous trials.

Phase 4 trials typically include thousands of participants. An official website of the United States Government. gov means it's official. Federal government websites usually end in.

gov or. grand. Before you share sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site. JUST as Phase I is sometimes referred to as the acid test of drug development (where rubber meets road), since it is the first time the drug is tested in humans, Phase IV can be considered as the real test, since for the first time the drug is tested in the real world.

It is not possible to study more than a few thousand patients in clinical trials. The economics of the pharmaceutical industry does not allow more money and time to be spent on pre-launch development than is currently being done. More pre-launch expenses would make the drugs even more expensive than they are today and make them unmarketable and also delay their arrival to patients. Much of the additional knowledge about medicines comes from scientific rather than commercial interests, through research carried out by individual workers at universities and research institutions and by groups of researchers with an academic interest in drugs or therapeutics.

In general, these studies are only possible after the drug receives regulatory approval and is commercially available. Some of the new knowledge about a drug is obtained by chance when doctors around the world use the drug on a wide spectrum of patients, with different ethnicities, various underlying diseases and a variety of concomitant medications. RCTs are essential for demonstrating efficacy or the fact that a drug works, but they are inevitably limited in generalization, since extrapolation of RCT results can only be performed to patients included in RCTs under controlled conditions (strict inclusion and exclusion criteria, medication provided at no cost, supervised compliance, etc.). In the real world, no patient can be excluded; even pregnant and lactating women, those with hepatorenal dysfunction, who are taking multiple concomitant medications for concomitant clinical conditions should be treated.

How the drug works in such real conditions is proof of its effectiveness. All studies conducted in a phase IV setting, that is,. Of these, those that are required by the regulatory authority to be conducted as observational studies in a naturalistic environment by label are called PMS studies. There is a misperception that such studies are conducted only to increase sales.

In fact, since one is simply capturing the actual use of the product, there shouldn't be a real increase in sales. There is debate over whether off-label use should be captured. If a company were to conduct such a study, it could be mistakenly perceived that the company is trying to promote off-label prescribing. However, the point is that it is only through knowledge of real world practice that one can sometimes discern new ways of using the product,.

The company should not use these data, but rather ask the regulator to carry out a formal study on this new indication. Therefore, NIS makes it possible to collect information about the actual use of a particular drug. In these studies, routine clinical practice should always be followed and no additional diagnostic or follow-up procedures should be performed (ie,. In addition to providing greater knowledge about the effects of drugs, non-interventional studies can also be a good way to map risks in the real world.

It is a hybrid between a randomized clinical trial and an observational study (e.g. A large number of participants are randomly assigned to treatment groups, followed up by routine practice. Simple refers to the effort to enroll physicians and participants and the goal is to interfere with routine practice as little as possible (Table. An example of such a study was the VOLUME study on Exubera (inhaled insulin), which was a requirement of the US FDA as part of a risk management plan.

In fact, there is a current of thought that, in the future, regulators may insist that sponsors conduct pre-market studies (phase III) that closely mimic the real world (rather than the typical RCTs that would be conducted in phase IIb, a solid proof of effectiveness) so that there is greater confidence in effectiveness before approval. This could minimize drug recalls, but it has the potential to delay drug release. While a RCT maximizes validity, but has limited generalization, and an observational study has limited validity (depends on design appropriateness and bias control) but maximizes generalization, a large, simple trial maximizes validity and generalization. Adverse reactions that occur in fewer than 1 in 3000 to 5000 patients are unlikely to be detected in investigational phase I to III clinical trials and may be unknown at the time of drug approval.

These rare adverse reactions are more likely to be detected when a large number of patients are exposed to a drug after its approval and marketing. However, security monitoring is just one form of post-PMS. Another is the planned collection of clinical data related to the use of a drug by conducting PMS studies. These could be general and open studies in which, unlike pre-marketing studies, patient selection is not strictly defined by strict inclusion and exclusion criteria, but is governed by the permissible indications and contraindications of the drug, as indicated in the text of the prescribing information.

This ensures that information is collected across a diverse spectrum of patients and makes it likely that the study will yield data that may not have been captured in phase III studies. PMS studies exemplify the difference between efficacy and effectiveness. Effectiveness is judged within the controlled setting of a clinical trial with strict inclusion and exclusion criteria and close monitoring and guaranteed compliance. Efficacy is the true proof of a drug when used in a much older population, with a varied organ function, concomitant drugs and where control and compliance are not always guaranteed.

In other words, a PMS study is a non-interventional study requested by regulatory authorities to verify the safety, tolerability and efficacy of a drug marketed in a particular population according to the locally approved label. Conducting these general open PMS studies is a regulatory requirement in countries such as Japan and the Philippines. In India, PMS data used to be sent to the Indian Drug Controller (DCGI) within 2 years of launch. Periodic Safety Update Reports (PSURs) are now submitted at regular intervals as specified in the revised Schedule Y of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

However, most other regulatory authorities do not insist on PMS studies. Instead, in countries such as Germany, regulators may require a company to conduct controlled clinical studies under precisely defined enrollment criteria, to investigate specific problems and collect information about the drug under specific conditions of use when a problem is suspected. The results of such studies could be signals, pharmacoepidemiological information, need for controlled studies, changes in labeling with modified adverse effects section, indications and dosing schedules, and regulatory measures (boxed warning, action plan to minimize risk, withdrawal). Other phase IV studies could be RCTs, in vitro studies, outcome research (burden of disease) and pharmacoeconomic studies, drug use studies, practical clinical trials, and researcher-initiated research in practice.

It is clear from this that rare but fatal side effects, such as aplastic anaemia seen with chloramphenicol or retinal damage with high-dose chloroquine therapy, can only be detected if there is a system for collecting information on adverse events from clients once it has been marketed a drug. Suspected serious and unexpected adverse reactions (SUSAR) are reported to regulatory authorities on an ongoing basis and non-serious ones are collected and reported on a regular basis. 2.The company makes changes to the prescription information on the basis of these reports, either at the request of regulatory authorities or, often, voluntarily. Sometimes the drug may be withdrawn from the market.

PMS studies conducted after a product launch are part of the drug's phase IV development. Some of these studies may be retrospective case-control evaluations. They are done to evaluate suspected rare side effects. For example, when oral contraceptive use was suspected to be associated with an increased incidence of thrombophlebitis (blood clotting in the deep veins) and thromboembolism (blockage of smaller arteries due to separation of blood clots), case-control studies were conducted.

A group of thromboembolism cases was compared with age-matched controls that were as similar as possible to the cases, but without the disease. The fact that the rate of consumption of oral contraceptives between the two groups showed a statistical difference indicates that the use of oral contraceptives is in fact associated with a 2- to 4-fold increase in the incidence of embolic phenomena. Cohort and cross-sectional studies can also be performed as part of comparative observational studies in pharmacovigilance planning. These studies describe how a drug is marketed, prescribed and used in a population, and how these factors influence outcomes, including clinical, social and economic outcomes.

3 These studies provide data on specific populations, such as the elderly, children or patients with hepatic or renal dysfunction, often stratified by age, sex, concomitant medication and other characteristics. DHE can be used to determine if a product is being used in these populations. From these studies, data on the denominator can be developed for use in determining adverse reaction rates. DUS have been used to describe the effect of regulatory measures and media attention on drug use, as well as to develop estimates of the economic burden of drug costs.

DHE can be used to examine the relationship between recommended clinical practice and actual clinical practice. These studies can help determine if a drug has potential for drug abuse by examining whether patients are taking escalating dose regimens or if there is evidence of improper repeat prescription. Significant limitations of these studies may include a lack of clinical outcome data or information on the indication for use of a product. A prospective observational study of patients with certain shared characteristics (e.g.

Properly designed and executed, records can provide real insight into clinical practice, patient outcomes, safety and comparative effectiveness. Therefore, it seems to us that the launch of the product is nothing more than a milestone in drug development, although important, rather than a mark of the end of the development process. However, it is inevitable that investments made at the end of phase IV, usually a declining phase of the product lifecycle, will be much smaller than commitments during the initial growth phase. Not only have most of the important questions been answered, but the commercial interest in answering residual or recently arising questions is low towards the end of the patent period, and the potential commercial benefits of using new data are small compared to the new emerging therapies that have been designed.

to outperform the oldest agents. In fact, the commercial development of a drug only ends with, or near, the end of the patent's life. However, surveillance of spontaneously reported AEs continues while a product is being marketed. And so Phase IV in that sense never ends.

Phase IV trials consist of clinical research conducted after a drug has been approved. Due to the modest size of drug development programs, the evaluation of a drug's toxicity profile and general understanding of its safety can only be partially determined prior to approval. The understanding at the time of approval of the toxicity profile of an ECN and of the overall benefit-risk ratio is considered more tentative. FDA often imposes obligations on drug manufacturers, as a condition of FDA approval, to conduct one or more Phase IV post-marketing studies to fill significant data gaps.

These gaps could be due to clinical experience in patient populations that had not been adequately investigated previously (e.g. Other common clinical trials that FDA requires, but is often willing to leave for a phase IV commitment, are trials in the pediatric age group and in patients with hepatic or renal impairment. In other cases, phase IV studies, driven by promotional considerations, aim to explore the use of the drug for new indications or in a wider range of patient groups. As the exposure profile of an NCE expands to new subgroups of patients or to new indications of disease, new toxicity information relevant to the overall clinical safety assessment of the drug may emerge.

It is better to consider interim the understanding at the time of approval of the toxicity profile of an MND and the general benefit-risk. Other common clinical trials that FDA requires, but is often willing to abandon for a phase IV commitment, are trials in the pediatric age group and in patients with hepatic or renal impairment. As the exposure profile of an EMN expands to new subgroups of patients or to new indications of disease, new toxicity information relevant to the overall clinical safety assessment of the drug may emerge. The drugs are launched after regulatory authorities have analyzed a large amount of data from clinical and animal studies and found that the drug is sufficiently effective and safe enough in specific indications.

But does this mean that sufferers are more likely to live longer? Are there rare side effects that have not yet been observed or side effects that only appear after a person has taken the medication for a long time? Answering these types of questions can take many more years and are often addressed in phase IV clinical trials. A strict chronological interpretation would infer that pharmacokinetic determinations are very limited and occur only early (phase I) of the clinical drug development process, and that phase IV market expansion trials are only initiated after the new drug has been approved. A phase 3 clinical trial involves a much larger group of volunteers and focuses primarily on determining whether treatment* would be safe and effective for a wide variety of people. The purpose of a phase 2 clinical trial is to determine the correct dose and effectiveness in treating that particular disease.

After completing phase 3 clinical trials, the health of patients who received the different types of treatment is compared to the control groups. Answering these questions, while giving as few people as possible an unknown treatment, often requires several clinical trials in different “phases”. All new treatments must undergo clinical trials before being approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If a new treatment is determined to be safe in phase I clinical trials, a phase II clinical trial is done to see if it works in certain types of cancer.

The tools are clinical trials, observational studies, data mining and the collection of results and real-world evidence data. However, some organizations use Phase IV to describe only clinical trials requested by the FDA and use Phase V to describe internally motivated market expansion trials (e. These gaps could be clinical experience in patient populations that had not been adequately investigated previously (e. .


Bernice Gerchak
Bernice Gerchak

Friendly tv buff. Freelance pop culture maven. Devoted pop culture junkie. Infuriatingly humble twitter geek. Passionate travelaholic. Amateur travel aficionado.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *