Shah, owner and lead physician at the Shah Eye Center in Mission, has formed a partnership with Discovery Clinical Trials to conduct research studies into eye problems.
Research studies are the safest and fastest way to find treatments that work and new ways to improve health, according to the Center for Information and Study of Clinical Research Participation, a non-profit organization designed to provide information about the clinical research process.
And more and more physicians are adding research studies to their practices all the time, Shah said.
“We wanted to expand what we’re providing at our clinics,” he said, noting that his center is one of the first in the Valley to offer research studies. “People who volunteer for our studies receive not only investigational medications, but also no-cost eye exams and lab tests. It’s a great benefit.”
Some studies also offer reimbursements to participants, both for time and travel involved.
The need for volunteers is critical, as 85 percent of all drug trials are delayed for lack of participants, according to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. Enrollment rates have declined by 20 percent since 2000.
One of the toughest hurdles to overcome is the perception that study participants are “guinea pigs,” Shah said.
“All our studies are conducted under strictly enforced federal guidelines, from beginning to end,” he said. “Patient welfare is our top concern. We look at this as a service, both to the patient and the community that can benefit from new treatments and medications.”
Discovery Clinical Trials, which is based in San Antonio, has been working with physicians and clinics since 2009. It has partnerships in Mission, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Arlington, Houston and Orlando, Fla., on research studies from asthma to diabetes to allergies.
Studies at the Shah Eye Center will focus on vision problems, including a condition called uveitis, which can cause changes in the vision of people who have autoimmune conditions like type 1 diabetes, lupus and celiac disease.
“Many people with autoimmune diseases can have uveitis and not even know it,” Shah said. “They have fuzzy vision, or sensitivity to light, or watery eyes, and it might just be uveitis.”
Discovery Clinical Trials has bilingual staff to answer telephone calls at 956-529-1300.
Shah has operated the Shah Eye Center since 1995 and has worked in the Valley since 1994. He is board certified by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
For more information, contact:
Discovery Clinical Trials