A clinical trial is a carefully designed study that is done with people like you, who volunteer to receive investigational treatments under close supervision by a physician and other research professionals. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have developed these treatments and these companies have then selected physicians, also called investigators, who are qualified to conduct clinical trials. It is through these trials that investigational drugs may show their benefits.
The clinical testing of an investigational drug is a step-by-step process that ensures you receive careful medical attention. All clinical trials are reviewed by the U.S. government’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
and Institutional Review Boards (IRBs).
IRBs are independent committees whose job is to make sure your rights are fully protected and that you are not exposed to any unnecessary risks. IRBs also are responsible for ensuring you sign a consent form before agreeing to participate in a trial.
Clinical trials usually are conducted in four phases (I, II, III, IV). A small number of people participate in Phase I trials, while each later phase involves a larger number of people.
In a clinical trial, a volunteer is usually assigned a specific study group. Sometimes volunteers in one study group will receive an investigational treatment or study drug. Sometimes volunteers will receive a placebo or a treatment already available; a placebo is an inactive product used to compare the results of the study drug. You, your physician and your research staff, may not know who is receiving a placebo and who is receiving the study drug. In this way, volunteers in a clinical trial can be observed by the physician and research staff more fairly. Whether you receive the placebo or the study drug, the level of medical attention and care that you receive is the same.
As a volunteer in a clinical trial, you help in the development of medical therapies–therapies that may offer better treatments and even cures for life-threatening and chronic health conditions.
People volunteer to participate in a clinical trial for a number of reasons. You may get involved in a trial because you simply want to help in the advancement of science, or you may be suffering from a health condition that does not presently have a treatment option. Another advantage of participating in a clinical trial, is all study related procedures and doctor’s exams are covered at no cost to you, as the patient. Whatever reason you choose, you may have questions about clinical trials and drug research; this website will answer some of your questions. You should also ask your physician and our research center’s staff with any questions before you volunteer.
It is important that you make an informed choice about volunteering for a clinical trial.
Once you have enrolled in a study, you may receive a physical examination; your study physician or a research staff member will review your medical history as well. A detailed description of your specific clinical trial and what’s to be expected of you will be outlined in your consent form.
Physicians and healthcare professionals that conduct clinical trials are committed to providing you with quality patient care and medical attention. Please feel free to discuss your medical treatment with your investigator or any research staff member at any time during the course of your clinical trial. Your safety is the number one priority in a clinical trial, therefore, it is important that you take all your medication as prescribed, that you show up for all of your scheduled visits, and that you answer your investigator’s questions regarding how you feel and whether you’ve been taking your medication at the scheduled times.
Many study volunteers appreciate the medical attention that they receive when they participate. Your study investigator needs to record any symptoms, no matter how minor they may seem to you. If you miss your medication or you haven’t taken it on schedule, tell your investigator or research staff. Your input is valuable and important!
When you participate in a clinical trial, your privacy is protected, your medical records are confidential, and the trial data that is provided to the pharmaceutical company and the FDA
will not include your name or the names of other individuals participating in the study.
As a volunteer, you have the right to leave your study at any time, and for any reason.
When a clinical trial ends, several things might happen. For a serious illness, a pharmaceutical company might continue to provide the study medication to those patients that are responding well. On some occasions, a patient will stop receiving the investigational treatment; in this case, a patient may have to wait for the drug to become available to the public.
After a study is complete, all of the information is collected and analyzed. This information determines whether a study drug is working, whether it is safe and whether it has any side effects. FDA
medical advisors and specialists closely review this data before approving any new drug.
Even after a study drug is approved, pharmaceutical companies will continue to conduct studies that compare the study drug in terms of its safety, effectiveness, and cost to other drugs already on the market. Other research studies may determine if a therapy can be administered to children or special populations and some studies assess a drug’s long-term effectiveness and its impact on the quality of a person’s life.
Every volunteer in a clinical trial is extremely valuable and important. Without volunteers, there would be no new drugs to fight diseases and ailments. By participating in a clinical trial, you are helping yourself and others like you, live longer and healthier lives now and long into the future.
To participate, please contact us by phone at (505) 224-7407 to schedule a screening visit to find out if you qualify to enroll in one of our exciting studies. Many studies offer stipends to qualified patients, as well as study treatment at no cost. Contact Us