Pay It Forward: Volunteering for a Clinical Trial



it's an exciting time in biomedical research the news is filled with stories of breakthrough discoveries that have the potential to change and save lives but getting these discoveries from the research lab to the bedside there's a long and complex process and it depends on clinical trials clinical trials are research studies that evaluate the effects of an experimental test or treatment multiple phases of clinical trials are often necessary to find out whether a new treatment is safe and effective and whether it should be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration the FDA for use by patients clinical trials are vitally important for preventing diagnosing treating and curing diseases and illnesses but these trials can't happen without the participation of volunteers at any given time there can be thousands of clinical trials going on across the country that could lead to life-changing and life-saving treatments but 37% of clinical trials don't enroll enough patients to move forward and 11% fail to enroll even one patient this means that these innovative discoveries may never make it to the patients that need them the bottom line is that clinical trials need people like you volunteering may contribute to research that helps society at large by bringing new treatments one step closer to reaching patients and potentially leading to future discoveries and breakthroughs and if you have a disease or illness that's genetic your contribution may end up helping a loved one volunteering to participate in a clinical trial may also give you access to an experimental cutting-edge treatment option and a medical research team that carefully monitors your disease and overall health clinical trials need participants from every background because some diseases are more prevalent in certain groups of people researchers work hard to make sure that the people in each clinical trial represent the patients who will end up using the treatment being tested so a diverse group of clinical trial volunteers is very important whatever your race age gender or background clinical trials need you what happens if you do decide to participate clinical trial sites are located all over the country from doctors offices to large academic medical centers ask your doctor about clinical trials in your area or search for opportunities @ww clinical trials.gov before you start you'll get information about the trial the experimental treatment being tested and the potential risks and benefits of being in the trial ask your health care professional any questions you have before making a decision it's their job to give you the information you need if you decide to participate you will be asked to sign a document showing that you fully understand the potential risks and benefits of participating in the clinical trial remember that the decision is yours and only your's and you can change your mind at any time many clinical trial sites offer support like counseling and translation services so ask in advance for anything you might need many larger studies are randomized trials in these types of trials patients will either receive the experimental treatment or be assigned to the control group where depending on the trial they receive the standard of care or a placebo a treatment that doesn't have any active ingredients these trials are usually double blinded meaning you won't know which treatment you get and neither will your doctor this helps to ensure that the results are impartial and reliable participants are monitored closely throughout and the cost of participating plus the extra care that comes with it are typically covered by the study or your medical insurance you may even be compensated for travel and lost wages be sure to find out what is covered in advance while you see different health care professionals while participating in the trial you can continue to see your primary care professional for your regular care the result of the trial will be reported to the medical community but your name will never be used and your participation is always anonymous to learn more about clinical trials visit wwh in research org slash clinical trials clinical trials bring us better treatments breakthrough cures and new hope to all the people in our lives and for generations to come but clinical trials need participants they need you you

1 comment

  1. Thank you for creating such a great video! Is it okay if we embed your video on our website? We will make sure to attribute the video to the Alliance for Aging Research.

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