Clinical trials are observations and studies performed to determine whether certain treatments are effective for specific groups of human individuals. They are required for FDA approved drugs and treatments, hence they constantly need participants.
These research studies test new medical devices, drugs, dietary supplements, etc… The aim is to include individuals from a variety of backgrounds so the treatment is understood in relation to a broad spectrum of people. Clinical trials are necessary for doctors to progress in creating the most effective medicine. The tests they do in the lab don’t always play out the expected ways when interacting with the complications of the human body.
Clinical trials shouldn’t be viewed as beginnings of experiments, rather as the final step of long, careful, repeated studies in the lab. These studies require approval of health committees and are carefully regulated and monitored. The costs for these research studies are usually millions of dollars and have governmental or pharmaceutical or biotech sponsorship.
Clinical trials may be the only hope for some individuals. The trial gives them access to treatment options that have not yet become widely available. They may also benefit financially from participating. If you or a loved one is interested in participating in a clinical trial, it’s important to be comfortable asking questions and know the details involved with the trial. Diseases with no cure, such as Alzheimer’s, unfortunately still exists. Clinical trials may bring doctors closer and closer to finding the cure.
After determining your qualification for certain clinical trials, you should feel comfortable asking questions. Here are some that may be pertinent to your participation in a clinical trial.
Questions to Ask When Joining a Clinical Trial
- What parties reviewed and approved this trial?
- What are possible risks of participating in this trial? Are they much higher than my current treatment?
- How will my privacy be protected?
- Will I be given the results of the trial?
- What are the natures of tests? Are they invasive and how often will they be given?
- Will I be able to continue on my current medication while participating in the trial?
- How long will the trial continue and how often will I be required to be on site?
- Will my primary care physician be involved in my participation in the trial?
- Who do I see if I do experience negative side effects?
- What costs are my responsibility vs. covered by the trial or insurance?