What is a clinical trial?
A clinical trial is a research study in which qualified volunteers receive investigational medications under the supervision of the research team and the trial physician. The investigational medications are developed by pharmaceutical companies who select physicians, to conduct the clinical trials. The data collected from the clinical trial may be used to determine the benefit, safety, and potential use for the medication. Some clinical trials are done to provide comparison data between two similar products already out on the market.
Who can participate in a clinical trial?
Anyone can volunteer to participate in a clinical trial or research study. However, a volunteer must qualify for the trial based on guidelines of participation. The factors that may or may not allow volunteers to participate in a clinical trial include age, gender, stage of a disease, previous medication, and other medication conditions. Each clinical trial has a list of criteria that may include or exclude a potential volunteer. The research team will review your medical history and the study requirements to determine if you are eligible to participate. Through an "informed consent" the team will explain to you what it means to be involved in a particular trial including the risks and benefits.
Why participate in a clinical trial?
Clinical trials may provide qualified volunteers' with study-related care, exams, laboratory testing, medical monitoring and investigational medication at no cost. As a volunteer you can play an active role in your health care while gaining access to treatments before they may be widely available. You are also assisting in the development of medical theory that may offer better treatment options and uncover information that may cure diseases. Qualified participants may receive compensation for time and travel expenses.