Clinical Trials are the final phase of research and development for medication and medical devices before they are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The trials help determine whether the medication or devices are safe and effective for their intended purpose.
Pharmaceutical companies or government agencies often sponsor clinical trials, which are then conducted by doctors or other healthcare professionals in hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices. Doctors and other professionals conducting clinical research follow strict rules set by the FDA to ensure the safety of patients.
By volunteering for clinical trials, patients may have access to new treatments not generally available. In some cases the participants may be compensated for their time and travel, and in most cases they will receive the necessary exams, lab tests and medications required by the trial.
Hospitals and research facilities around the world conduct clinical trials across all areas of medical research. Websites such as ClinicalTrials.gov provide a searchable database of all clinical trials conducted around the world, making it easy for patients to locate trials in their area.
Anyone considering taking part in a clinical trial should consult with his physician. Every case is different, and there may be medical reasons a research trial is not right for you. Only you and your doctor can make that determination.