Benefits and risks of participating in a clinical trial

Patients participating in clinical trials play a more active role in their own health care and gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available. Participants may be eligible to receive specialized medical care and treatment at no cost. Some studies’ participants may even receive payments to compensate them for their time and efforts devoted to the research study. Many participants get great satisfaction by knowing that they are helping others with a similar disease and are contributing to medical research.

There may also be some risks involved and your Genesis Research team will explain in detail any risks associated with the specific clinical trial you may be considering taking part in, including any potential side effects, along with the requirements of the protocol.

In addition, some studies compare people receiving treatment to those who do not – so both you and your doctor may not know if you are actually receiving study medication and new therapies. In addition an experimental treatment may not prove effective.

Are clinical trials safe?

All clinical trials conducted in the United States must have government-registered protocols that include details of how the study will be carried out, characteristics of patient participants and precise schedules for the drugs, dosages, tests and procedures involved in the study. Before a clinical trial can take place, its protocols and techniques must be approved by Institutional Review Boards (IRBs).

An IRB is an independent committee of physicians, statisticians, community advocates, and others that ensures that a clinical trial is ethical and the rights of study participants are protected. The IRB monitors the progress of the study throughout the clinical trial. Results of the trial are publicly reported at scientific meetings, to medical journals, and to various government agencies. However, the name and personal details of all study participants are kept in strict confidence in accordance with Federal law and never included in the reporting of trial results.