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What Should You Expect When Participating in a Clinical Research Study?

An intervention can be a drug, a device such as a pacemaker, a diagnostic tool, a genetic test, or even a new way to prevent disease or offer support for sick people. In some cases, clinical trials test new uses for existing medications. Clinical trials also test new therapeutic options for existing drugs – for example, once-a-week dose instead of a daily dose or an inhaled medication instead of an injection.

Researchers use clinical trials to find out whether an intervention is safe and/or effective. In addition, they are also investigating the possibility of existing drugs offering relief for other specific conditions for which the drugs may not currently be approved. Companies must show that new investigational medical products are both safe and effective before they can be approved. Clinical trials are the best way to test whether new investigational medications, practices, or devices are safe and effective.

If you are considering participation in a clinical research study, you may have some questions about what to expect.