What is a clinical trial?

A clinical trial is a study in human volunteers designed to answer a specific health question about the safety or efficacy of a drug, a device, or other interventions. These allow doctors to examine the benefits and risks of using these drugs. Clinical trials are designed to find safe treatments that work in people and new ways to improve health.

Why participate in a clinical trial?

People choose to participate in clinical trials for many reasons. Clinical trials can either enhance treatment, or be a treatment option. Some people seek clinical trials when other treatment options have not been successful. Here are a few reasons people choose to participate in studies:
  • Many, if not all, treatment drugs and tests are free to study participants
  • Successful clinical trials may improve the length and quality of life for study participants
  • Clinical trials provide an opportunity to take positive action by contributing to the understanding of a disease or condition and by furthering treatment options available to others
  • Patients in successful clinical trials are the first to benefit from these cutting-edge treatments