The Importance of Participating in Clinical Trials
Participants of clinical trials are heroes that aid in the development of biologics, new drugs and treatments from which the rest of the world can benefit. Each drug and medical treatment on the market has been able to surface because of willing clinical trial participants. It is because of these volunteers that countless people around the globe have been able to benefit from cures and ease of suffering. It is because of clinical trials that diseases such as polio and measles have nearly been eradicated in the United States.
Risks and Benefits
It is important to understand that some risks are involved in clinical research, just as in routine medical care and activities of daily living. In thinking about the risks of research, it is helpful to focus on two things: the degree of harm that could result from taking part in the study and the chance of any harm occurring. Before deciding to participate, you should carefully weigh these risks against possible benefits. You may or may not receive direct benefit for yourself and your condition, but you will know that the knowledge developed will help others. Volunteers may also benefit from participation through access to new treatments and more effective therapies, as well as receive regular medical attention from the research team.
Before entering a study, it is important that you as the patient fully understand the study and what your involvement would mean. You should be given an informed consent, which has detailed information about the study including the length, number of visits required, medical procedures and medications included. It also provides expected outcomes, potential benefits and possible risks.
Making the Decision
It is important that you feel well informed, confident and secure about participating in
medical research. Before deciding to participate, you should talk with
your doctor and family. Be sure you know the answers to the following
questions before you make your decision: