The Gastroenterology and Nutritional Medical Services, located in the office of Raj Bhandari, M.D., is in the process of the adding a research lab that is set to be completed around mid-January 2013.
Delta Research Partners is an independent research lab that has an established site in Monroe, with a patient database of over 100,000 patients.
Casey Petrus, clinical research coordinator for Delta Research Partners, said DRP has been conducting Phase 2, Phase 3, and Phase 4 clinical trials since 2002.
According to Petrus, all FDA approved drugs must go through three phases of clinical trials before the drug is approved. Phase 4b trials are conducted on FDA approved drugs that are exploring new indications, such as one drug already approved to treat chronic constipation, clinically tested to treat IBS-C with constipation.
"We do trials that are gastrointestinal-related," Petrus said. "We treat indications such as chronic constipation, IBS-constipation, Hepatitis C, hepatic encephalopathy, anal fissures, diabetic gastroparesis, IBS-diarrhea, opiod induced constipation and gastroesophageal reflux disease. We also study different types of preparations for colonoscopies."
New patients are often referred by those who have previously participated in clinical trials, and possible benefits that can be received through their contribution, such as free medical visits, medications and lab work.
Petrus said patients who are uninsured may gain from research services if they meet the required criteria of protocol.
"Patients are paid for their participation in clinical trials," Petrus said. "The dollar amount per visit is
determined by the sponsor of the clinical trial. Some may be paid $75 a visit and will have eight visits. Others may be paid more or less, depending on the study and the amount of visits."