A clinical trial is basically a research study designed to see if a particular intervention improves health. People typically associate clinical trials with new or experimental medications. Many of these provide access to life-saving medications not yet available on the market, but there are also many trials that do not involve taking any medication.
Clinical trial medications are always experimental and untested, that’s the point of a clinical trial.
Medication testing begins with extensive laboratory research which can involve years of experiments in animals and human cells. If the initial laboratory research is successful, researchers send the data to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval to continue research and testing in humans. The FDA must be confident that the medication is safe for humans and that the potential benefit outweighs any side effects or risks to even allow the clinical trial to take place.
Some clinical trials are looking for only healthy participants free of specific medical conditions, while other trials will only involve individuals with particular physical or mental conditions. Some are looking for both and there are some for which you may qualify as a healthy participant even if you have a physical or mental condition. Click here to see what trials you may be qualified for.
Most, but not all, trials provide payment for your time and participation in the study. Compensation is based on the length of the study, the number visits and/or stays required and the specific trial procedures.
The amount paid for participating in a clinical trial varies from study to study. Some range in the hundres of dollars while others pay thousands of dollars.
Payment details will be discussed with your clinical study team at your first visit.
After you’ve finished a clinical trial, you usually must take a 1-3 month break. The length of time depends on requirements for the study you would like to enroll in next.
Studies usually last anywhere from 2 days to 3 months, and sometimes longer. They can involve staying overnight in a medical clinic, outpatient visits to our clinic or a combination of both.
- Get actively involved in their health care.
- Gain access to potential new treatments.
- Have access to expert medical care for the condition being studied, since investigators are often specialists in the disease area.
- Help others by contributing to medical research.