For Cleveland residents interested in getting new medical treatment that’s not currently available to the public or those who are not responding to treatment or can’t afford their treatments, Richard A. Krause, M.D., the medical director of ClinSearch, says his multispecialty research facility is able to provide certain treatments at no cost with financial compensation to qualified research participants while providing quality care with patient safety at the forefront of clinical studies.
Dr. Krause, who is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology, retired as of 2006 to concentrate on medical research. He has been chief of medicine and chief of gastroenterology as well as having served on the Parkridge Medical Center board.
According to Krause, ClinSearch has several participants from the Cleveland area but he is interested in enrolling more. Compensation for the research studies varies and is based on the time needed for each trial. The research is voluntary and patients can withdraw from the studies at any time.
Krause, who can be seen quarterly on “This ’N That” on News Channel 9 from 12:30 to 1 p.m., said his studies cover a wide spectrum of research — from short-term physiological studies to longer clinical trials that offer the prospect of therapeutic benefit to his subjects.
“I first went into research around 1992 when I realized insurance was controlling which doctors a patient could go to and which tests they would approve. Also, if patients are not responding to current therapy we had nothing to offer them. Now we do — if patients are willing to volunteer to try new treatment. Our patients are compensated for time and travel and receive study-related treatment, lab work, EKG and procedures at no cost to the patient or insurance.”
Patients are reimbursed, usually receiving $50 a visit and sometimes $100 if they have a procedure, according to Krause, who added, “It’s a way for people to get new treatment that’s not available. It’s for those who are not responding to treatment or can’t afford their treatments. Anyone can get into a study once they meet the criteria. What’s exciting about what we’re doing is that we’re working on some diseases for which there is no treatment.
“For example there is no treatment for celiac disease except for a very difficult diet. We are studying three different ways to treat this gluten problem. There are no good treatments for diabetics with poor emptying of the stomach. We just finished studying a new treatment that seems to be very effective and we should be doing additional studies very soon. Patients that are constipated due to pain medication may improve on our new therapy.”
Krause also said migraine headache prevention and fibromyalgia treatment are being studied. His ClinSearch team has extensive clinical research experience in weight reduction, migraine headaches, gout prevention, chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, insomnia, sleep apnea and dermatology-acne, to name a few. ClinSearch is currently enrolling trials to evaluate chronic heartburn, constipation due to narcotics or pain medicine, the treatment of patients with irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea or constipation and several other clinical evaluations that could benefit the public.
“We are always looking for volunteers to help in our irritable bowel studies and chronic constipation,” Krause said.
According to Krause, who spent three years at Emory University and Grady Memorial Hospital in internal medicine, one year at Yale University for a fellowship in gastroenterology and an additional year at the University of Massachusetts for gastroenterology, his experienced staff consistently enrolls new patients through physician referrals, database notification and community awareness events.
“We develop relationships that foster retention and are committed to providing our sponsors and clients with accurate data in a timely fashion while providing quality care with patient safety at the forefront,” he said.
When asked if ClinSearch has a system for tracking payments and making payments in a timely manner, Krause said, “Yes, the coordinators will turn in a request for patients once a payment is completed and it is paid within a couple of weeks.”
The physician said research necessary to improve human health and medical care depends on the participation of human subjects. Therefore it is only reasonable to financially compensate patients who otherwise could not afford to participate or who are not willing or able to make the financial sacrifice in order to do so.
The decision to offer payment to reimburse people for their participation in research is a longstanding practice that goes back more than 100 years and is well documented. The compensation is understandable since participants may need to undergo additional lab testing, answer questionnaires or make extra trips to the clinic. Studies have shown that response to written surveys is also influenced by financial reimbursement as is the willingness to participate in other hypothetical studies. But the benefits from clinical studies can be far more rewarding, according to Krause.
Many of Krause’s patients recommend ClinSearch as a beneficial means of helping one’s self, the community and the medical profession, who may devise better medical treatment because of the research done by ClinSearch.
“Our current facility database has a patient population of 10,000 and growing,” Krause said. “We have a motivated, hardworking staff with an excellent track record of producing quality data in a timely fashion with 24 hour emergency contact by phone.”
Responding to the most common misconception in clinical research, Krause said it should be understood that people are not treated like or considered guinea pigs.
“A guinea pig doesn’t have any choice,” he said. “A human being — if they’re not getting better or having side effects, they can stop the drug at any time. That’s the main concept I think people are having a hard time with. If a drug does not work, you do not have to stay on the study. You can stop it at any time. There is no obligation that anyone have to stay on the medication.”
Krause said he wanted to reach out to males and females 18 and older in areas like Bradley County and surrounding counties for greater participation and cooperation in clinical studies while offering compensation for time and travel.
“When I first arrived in Chattanooga in 1977 I handled all of the GI problems in Cleveland until GI doctors arrived in Cleveland many years later. So I am familiar with Cleveland doctors and patients. I look forward to continuing that relationship through research.”
For further information, call 423-698-4584 or visit www.clinsearh-us.com.