Clinical trials (also called medical research and research studies) are designed to answer specific questions about drugs, new therapies or new ways of using known treatments. Clinical trials determine whether new drugs or treatments are safe and effective. Carefully conducted clinical trials are the fastest and safest way to find treatments that work. Ideas for clinical trials usually come from researchers. After researchers test new therapies or procedures in the laboratory and get promising results, they begin planning clinical trials. New therapies are tested on people only after laboratory and animal studies show promising results.
If you're asked to participate in a research study, you'll want to learn as much as you can about it before deciding whether to participate.
Begin by asking:
If you decide the study is worthwhile, you'll need to know what participating in the study will entail. You might ask:
Finally, you'll want to consider how participating in the study will affect your health and finances. Consider asking:
The concept of informed consent requires researchers to:
Researchers must respect the rights of all participants in research studies.