- V., A. R. LORIMER, D. MCCALL
- J. Anaesth., 43, 14.
THE initial clinical trials of a drug usually only provide information pertaining to its use in strictly defined circumstances, often with a small number of highly trained observers. For this reason, when the circumstances permit, this should be followed by a 'group trial' prior to its general release. The purpose of this is to provide information, often not obtained from the controlled clinical trials and, in the case of drugs used during anaesthesia, to ascertain how the new agent will fit into routine clinical practice. It also tests the acceptability of the new drug to a large number of practising anaesthetists in a wide variety of clinical situations. This paper reports a group trial of Althesin involving 2,800 administrations by 70 anaesthetists. Althesin is a combination of two steroids, alphaxalone and alphadolone acetate, with Cremophor EL acting as solvent (Child et al, 1971). Initial clinical studies in several centres suggested that it could prove to be an acceptable intravenous anaesthetic (Campbell et al, 1971; Clarke et al, 1971; Savege et al, 1971).