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What You Need To Know Before Applying For Clinical Trials

by Terry Wilson

Clinical trials are available for any number of medical conditions. To help advance the field of medicine, it is important for people to volunteer. If you have ever considered entering a clinical trial, there are several pieces of information you need to know so you have accurate information.

Healthy Volunteers Are Important

People who are healthy or have conditions that do not cause significant impact on their life are often the last people to consider clinical trials. Although many studies investigate the effects of certain treatments on serious conditions, there are plenty of opportunities for healthy volunteers. For example, some studies may simply want to compare different non-medication weight loss strategies to determine which groups have better outcomes. Even the yearly flu vaccine may have clinical trials to determine if changes to the vaccine formulation are effective at preventing the seasonal flu. Without healthy volunteers, there would be little information on risk factors and the development of future diseases or if preventative measures are effective.

Apply For The Right Reasons

Some people erroneously believe clinical trials are a good way to earn extra cash. Unfortunately, making assumptions about your personal benefits from participation can make it harder on researchers who may lose participants because they were not there for the right reasons. The researcher will state any incentives upfront before you participate. In general, incentives are based on what the researchers believe is fair compensation for your time and possibly help to off-set modest travel expenses. Depending on the study, you may need authorization from your insurance company to cover imaging or other tests related to the study. The best reasons to enter clinical trials are because you are passionate about the study because you could potentially benefit from a treatment or you simply want to further research in the area.

Your Safety Is Paramount

You should not hesitate to apply for a clinical trial because you are scared about your safety. Although there may be new medications or treatment options under investigation, these treatments have passed certain phases of the approval process in order for them to be tested in a significant number of people. Therefore, you should have the same amount of concern as you would have with any other medical procedure or medication. Clinical trials are heavily regulated to ensure your safety and the best possible outcome for participants. If you have any concerns, you should feel comfortable expressing them to the researcher before you participate and at any time throughout the trial.

Clinical trials are imperative to learn more about the development of different conditions and finding effective medications for diseases. Each volunteer is an important part of advancing the field of medicine.