Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Questions
What is a clinical trial?
Clinical trials are a necessary step in the process of making new medications generally available. Clinical research trials are conducted by doctors to test the safety and effectiveness of investigational medications. All clinical research is regulated by the federal government and also reviewed by independent ethics committees in order to ensure patient safety.
Why are clinical trials important?
All medications must go through the clinical trial process. We now have effective treatments and cures for hundreds of diseases due to clinical research and the patients who have participated in clinical trials.
Why would I participate in a clinical trial?
As a volunteer in a clinical trial, you help in the development of new medical therapies that may offer better treatments and even cures for life-threatening and chronic diseases. All clinical research is regulated by the federal government and also reviewed by independent ethics committees in order to ensure patient safety. When you participate in a clinical trial, you receive quality medical care at no charge from local physicians and medical professionals. For most studies, you are also paid for your time and travel.
What can I expect?
Prior to beginning the study, you will receive an informed consent document, which includes information about the purpose of the study, the investigational medication, the duration, the study visits and procedures, potential benefits and risks, and if appropriate, what you will be paid for your time and travel. If you choose to consent, physicians and healthcare professionals will then determine if you meet all defined criteria for participation.
During the study, physicians and healthcare professionals are committed to providing you with quality patient care and medical attention. You should feel free to discuss your medical treatment with our research staff members at any time. As a participant, you may be asked to:
- Regularly visit a healthcare provider
- Have laboratory and diagnostic tests
- Take medication
What are the benefits?
While each study is different, the benefits of participation may include some or all of the following:
- Access to medication, medical care from specialists who know your condition, and laboratory services at no cost
- The opportunity to receive an investigational medication that is not widely available
- The knowledge that you are helping advance medical science
What are the potential risks?
Potential risks include:
- There are no guarantees that you will benefit from the treatment
- There may be unpleasant or unknown side effects
- In some studies, you may receive a placebo, which contains no medication
It is important to know that as a volunteer, you have the right to leave the study at any time, and for any reason.