Vial is always looking for eligible patients to participate in a clinical trial. See our active trials and study locations around the country here!
What exactly are clinical trials?
Clinical trials are research studies that aid in answering critical questions about the safety and efficacy of drugs and other treatments. These studies help researchers understand how the body functions, how diseases progress, and how to develop new products.
To conduct clinical trials, scientists must get approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB). IRBs are independent committees that evaluate human volunteers or patients in research. They ensure that each study is ethically designed and that participants are safe during their participation in a study.
Before you participate in a clinical trial, you should be aware of the following:
- The symptoms of your condition or disease
- Your risk factors—such as family history or lifestyle choices (such as smoking)
- What treatment options you have tried before
Why do people volunteer for clinical trials?
Some people take part in these studies because they need assistance managing their disease or condition, while others do so simply to contribute to science—or both! Clinical trials have risks, but they can also provide benefits such as access to experimental medications and treatment options that are not available in other settings.
People who participate in clinical trials may be curious about their health: some studies are designed to test new methods of measuring or monitoring conditions such as diabetes or asthma. Many studies incentivize participation by compensating subjects. Potential subjects may decide that they are more comfortable participating if they know exactly what they will receive in return, so these guidelines will assist you in determining which option is best suited to your needs and preferences!
How do clinical trials function?
Clinical trials or clinical studies are research studies that put new treatments to the test. Clinical trials are a step in the drug development process that determines whether a new treatment is safe and effective.
Clinical trials are classified into two types: interventional and observational. Interventional trials test whether a new treatment works better than an existing one on people who already have a condition; observational studies track people’s health over time without giving them any treatments at all, to determine whether certain behaviors or conditions lead to other health problems later on.
In general, interventional studies are more likely to be published in peer-reviewed journals and yield faster results because researchers can intervene directly by giving participants one thing (the experimental therapy), whereas observational studies are not necessarily published until later because they do not show how much impact any particular factor had on someone’s life— it’s simply information about what happened during their lives without interventions from researchers.
What is informed consent?
A patient’s right to make decisions about their care is referred to as informed consent. It means you have the right to know what will happen to you and how it will impact your health and life. In medical research, this includes understanding what clinical trials are, why they are necessary, what the potential risks are (referred to as “side effects”), who else may benefit from the trial results, and how long it will be before you can receive any new treatment if studies show that there is a benefit for people like you in participating in studies like this one, who is paying for everything related to your participation in this study as well as its results (if any), and many other things.
How do you go about finding a clinical trial?
You may know someone who has participated in and benefited from a particular treatment. If so, inquire about it.
Talk to your doctor about clinical trials that might be right for you, or ask them to assist you in finding one. Your doctor may be aware of a clinical trial that is appropriate for you and can advise you on which ones are worth applying to. You can also ask them if they have any suggestions for other places to look for information on clinical trials or other ways to get involved with research.
They can also help you understand the risks and benefits of participating in a clinical trial, as well as any potential side effects. In some cases, doctors will refer their patients directly to the research team of the study so that they can make an informed decision about whether or not to participate.
Determine the type of clinical trial in which you are interested.
Clinical trials come in a variety of forms. Some are for specific conditions, while others are for healthy volunteers, and still, others are open to anyone, regardless of age or health condition. In addition to these various types of trials, it’s important to note that there may be one that’s right for you—for example, if you have a specific health issue (such as IBD), participating in a trial designed specifically for this condition may be beneficial.
If your health concerns fall into an age group (such as being over 50), ethnicity (such as being Latino), sex (male or female), or any other factor related to physical characteristics such as height and weight—you should investigate whether any opportunities exist within those categories before deciding which type(s) would be best suited for your needs.
How to protect yourself and your rights when you participate in a clinical trial.
Asking questions is the most important thing you can do. If you don’t understand something, ask again until you get a satisfactory answer. If the answers aren’t satisfactory, look elsewhere—there are plenty of reputable institutions out there that will assist patients in making informed decisions about clinical trials.
In addition to ensuring that the trial has been approved by a reputable institution and that it meets your specific requirements, make certain that:
- You are aware of the risks associated with participating in the trial;
- You understand the potential benefits of participating;
- Your participation information is kept private;
- Compensation for participation has been agreed upon in advance;
- You have given your permission to participate in any procedure or treatment associated with this study.