Reel Doctor Talk

Well that's the way I like them

By Smitha R. Chadaga MD


I have always been a fan of kick ass women.


This has led to some amazing entertainment experiences 1) Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) in Alias 2) Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy, @melissamcarthy) in Spy 3) Rey (Daisy Ridley) in The Force Awakens.



This has also led to some underwhelming experiences: Elektra (I went to see it to prove my still present devotion to Jennifer Garner) and Tomb Raider (I have high hopes for the reboot with Alicia Vikander)


So of course I have been drawn into The Catch (@ABC_TheCatch) and Alice Vaughn (Mireille Enos, @iammireilleenos), Valarie Anderson (Rose Rollins, @rollins_rose) and Margot Bishop (Sonya Walger, @sonyawalger) have not disappointed.  I was particularly impressed with how they handled the medical aspects of episode 3.  I of course would expect nothing less from the Shondaland  (@ShondalandTV) team who has brought us Grey’s Anatomy.  The episode in part dealt with infiltrating a clinical trial for a multiple sclerosis drug.  What part of the trial did they infiltrate? How and why are drugs tested for market?


Well the Food and Drug Administration has five steps of Drug Development

1) Discovery – this is fairly self-explanatory.  It is the discovery of new drugs

2) Preclinical research –  the drug is tested on non-human subjects

3) Clinical research – the drug is tested on human subjects

4) FDA review – once again self-explanatory; the FDA reviews the drug

5) FDA post-market safety monitoring - the FDA keeps an eye on the drug’s side effects when it is out in the real world.


#3 is where we find Alice spying in episode 3 of The Catch. 

The phases of clinical research are:

Phase 1: test a small group of well volunteers to test for safety, ascertain the proper dosage and monitor for side effects

Phase 2: the drug is given to a few hundred people who have the disease for a continued look at safety and evaluate for effectiveness

Phase 3: the drug is given to a thousands of people who have the disease to evaluate for effectiveness, look at side effects and compare to other common treatments.


If you choose to join a clinical trial just don't do what Joey Tribbiani did.