A clinical trial or study is a very carefully conducted research study into the effectiveness and safety of new and existing medical treatments. There are a few different types of trials that participants can take part in. Studies may be focused on drugs, medical devices, medical procedures, or patient behavior. These clinical trials may compare a new drug or medical procedure to a standard one that is readily available (called the “Standard of Care”). The goal of a clinical trial is to determine if a new treatment is more effective and/or has less harmful side effects than the standard treatment.
These studies take place in hospitals, doctor’s offices, universities, and community clinics around the country and are very closely monitored to prioritize patient safety. Clinical trials allow us to find new and better ways of treating illnesses that many people suffer from but can only be successful with the help of people willing to participate.
Often times people participate in clinical trials because they’re not satisfied with their current treatment. Participation may mean finding better treatment options than what is currently available. Additionally, participation in a clinical trial is a great opportunity to be seen by some of the best doctors in their field at no cost to patients.
Another benefit can be advancing medicine for other people suffering from the same condition. Participation helps contribute to a great cause. By signing up, volunteers can help bring new preventative tactics, treatments, and diagnostic tests for health conditions of all kinds. Their efforts ensure the medical world continues moving forward in helping people enjoy long, healthy lives. That alone is something to feel good about, enrichening the lives of those who participate.
When performing clinical trials, researchers put the safety of the participants above all else. Through every phase of the process, they seek approval from regulating entities, follow highly protective policies, and acquire informed consent from all the study volunteers. With that approach, they can keep everyone safe from harm while testing the viability of the target medical interventions.
Before clinical trials can begin, researchers must acquire approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA. Then, they have to present their proposed studies to the Institutional Review Board, or IRB, for approval as well. Professionals on the IRB panel determine if the study is both ethical and safe enough for participants to join. Only upon receiving approval from both entities can the clinical trials move forward to the first phase.
Even with approval from the IRB and FDA, researchers must closely follow state, federal, and international policies in conducting their studies. In abiding by these regulations, they can rest assured they are using proven scientific practices in gathering data and making conclusions. They can also move forward through each phase with confidence they are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of the study volunteers.
While creating the clinical trials, researchers identify all potential risks for presentation to study volunteers. They must present these risks in a clear and concise manner to anyone interested in signing up.
In addition to providing a thorough explanation, they have to give potential volunteers time to ask questions and voice their concerns. Only then can volunteers provide their informed consent and officially sign up for the trial.
If any new information arises throughout the course of the clinical trials, researchers are required to inform all participants of their findings. Volunteers can opt out of continuing with the study at that time if they wish.
The payment of compensation to participate varies by study, so speak with one of our recruiters to get details about the studies you may qualify. You will be in touch directly with the local doctor’s office to learn more about compensation.