People participate in clinical research for a variety of reasons. People who volunteer for phase 2 and phase 3 trials can gain access to promising drugs long before these compounds are approved for the marketplace. They typically will get excellent care from the physicians during the course of the study. This care also may be free.
People considering participating in clinical research should talk about it with their physicians and medical caregivers. They also should seek to understand the credentials and experience of the individuals and the facility involved in conducting the study.
Other questions to ask include:
- How long will the trial last?
- Where is the trial being conducted?
- What treatments will be used and how?
- What is the main purpose of the trial?
- How will patient safety be monitored?
- Are there any risks involved?
- What are the possible benefits?
- What are the alternative treatments besides the one being tested in the trial?
- Who is sponsoring the trial?
- Do I have to pay for any part of the trial?
- What happens if I am harmed by the trial?
- Can I opt to remain on this treatment, even after termination of the trial?