It's a very common trope in the Star Trek universe for treatments to the disease du jour to be developed and rolled out very rapidly. Many, if not most, of the main characters or even most of an entire planet's population become ill as the ship's doctor races against time to find "the cure" or "the vaccine", after which pills or injections are beamed out to everyone just in time to save the day and warp out in a flourish.
In the real world, medical research doesn't work anything like that. Newly created treatments, vaccines, cures, etc. go through months, if not years, of clinical trials before they can be rolled out to large populations.
So, have we ever seen any modern-style clinical trials in the Star Trek universe or is there any evidence that such trials are done anymore? I recognize that this would make for lousy storytelling:
Captain! I think I have a cure for the new mutant Rigellian Plague that is rapidly killing off the population of Deneb V, but I need at least two years to run enough clinical trials to convince Starfleet Medical that it is safe and effective. Could I borrow a Runabout for a few years? I'm setting up a lab out on a remote moon in Sector 443 with a specially selected population of test subjects. It would also be great if Wesley could come along to help wash test tubes and make sure nobody confuses warp plasma with saline solution. Thanks! Tell the Denebians we're going as fast as we can!
Do we not see these trials because they are simply too boring for TV or are clinical trials something that is truly obsolete in the Star Trek model of medicine?
I am aware that the length of clinical trials in our own world can and does scale based on how crucial the desired treatment is (e.g. trials can be expedited in an emergency and/or can be intentionally underfunded if they are seen as not likely to be useful). What I'm asking is if all Star Trek medicine, or at least all Federation medicine, operates on the "Aha! I found the cure! Ship it!" model or if there are clinical trial centers out there in the backwaters of the galaxy where doctors run months or years-long trials of incrementally better cancer drugs or carefully test Andorian headache pills on Klingons to confirm that they are still safe and effective across species.
If a clinical trial is mentioned or alluded to in dialogue, that can count. For example,
Captain's log, stardate.... We are en route to Starbase 43 to pick up Dr. Jones, who has spent the last year testing out a new Borg nanoprobe vaccine on Cardassian prisoners of war. Our task is to take him to Begelgeuse IX where he is urgently needed to take part in a Starfleet Medical Emergency Use Authorization panel to decide whether to authorize administration of the new anti-Deneb brain parasite injection for Romulans under 15. Let us hope that Breen pirates don't disrupt our trip....