Clinical trials are a crucial part of medical research and are at the center of all treatment advancements. Clinical trials’ main objectives are discovering new ways to prevent, identify, and treat diseases.
Different treatments include new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or medical devices, or new alternatives to use for existing treatments.
The main goals of clinical trials is to determine if a specific treatment works and is safe. Clinical trials also examine different aspects of patient care which include improving the quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses.
WHY SHOULD YOU PARTICIPATE?
Mainly, it is a great opportunity to take control of your healthcare. You don’t need to have an existing condition to participate either, healthy volunteers choose to participate because they have the opportunity to help others and contribute to advancing science. Participants with a pre-existing illness or disease choose to participate mainly to help others with their condition, and they also have the chance to receive the most current treatment along with the best quality care from our research staff.
Clinical trials offer hope for numerous people around the world and also provide the opportunity to help researchers find better treatments for future generations.
WHAT ARE CLINICAL TRIALS?
Clinical trials are designed specifically to test the effects of pharmaceutical products that haven’t been introduced to the general public yet. Clinical trials rely heavily upon volunteers to participate under the supervision of a qualified study physician along with other research staff members selected by the pharmaceutical company.
The purpose of clinical trials is to evaluate investigational drugs or treatments for safety, tolerability, and effectiveness. Additionally, all clinical trials must be approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) before the trial commences. This process helps to ensure that the patient’s rights as a participant are fully protected.
WHY SHOULD I PARTICIPATE?
The health of millions has been improved because of advances in science and technology, and the willingness of thousands of individuals like you to take part in clinical research. The role of volunteer subjects as partners in clinical research is crucial in the quest for knowledge that will improve the health of future generations.
HOW LONG DO CLINICAL STUDIES LAST?
The length of a clinical study varies depending on what is being studied. Participants are told how long the study will last before enrolling.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
As with many medical and health related activities, there are risks to consider when participating in a clinical research trial. When thinking about the risks associated with clinical research participation – you should focus on these two things:
- The degree of harm that could result from taking part in the study
- The chance of any harm occurring
Keep in mind too, you will be in the care of top-notch physicians so if there is any risk – you are with a team of doctors who will respond quickly and adequately. The researchers prior to the study will be able to answer all of your questions pertaining to the risk of the study. Also, the specific risks associated with any research protocol are described in great detail in the consent document that you will sign prior to participating.
WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS AS A PARTICIPANT?
- You have the right to not take part in a research study.
- You have the right to drop out at any time.
- You have the right to be given new information about the study.
- You have the right to ask questions at any time and have them answered as soon as possible.
- You also have the responsibility to stay informed during your participation in a study. You should ask questions about anything you do not understand or simply want to know.
HOW ARE PARTICIPANTS PROTECTED?
Informed consent is a process in which researchers provide potential and enrolled participants with information about a clinical study. This information helps people decide whether they want to enroll or continue to participate in the study. The informed consent process is intended to protect participants and should provide enough information for a person to understand the risks of, potential benefits of, and alternatives to the study. In addition to the informed consent document, the process may involve recruitment materials, verbal instructions, question-and-answer sessions, and activities to measure participant understanding. In general, a person must sign an informed consent document before joining a study to show that he or she was given information on risks, potential benefits, and alternatives and understands it. Signing the document and providing consent is not a contract. Participants may withdraw from a study at any time, even if the study is not over.