What is a clinical trial?

Clinical trials are research studies in which people participate as volunteers. Not only are clinical trials necessary to discover new medications or treatments, but they also play a vital role in making sure we are using existing treatments in the best way possible. All clinical research is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Ethics committees also provide oversight of all clinical trials to make sure that the rights and welfare of patients are always protected. 

Why are clinical trials important?

All medications, whether available over the counter or by prescription, must go through the clinical trial process. We now have effective treatments and cures for hundreds of diseases due to clinical trials and the patients who have participated in them.

Why would I participate in a clinical trial?

New medical treatments and potentially even cures would not be possible without the participation of patient volunteers. Whether you are a healthy volunteer or a volunteer with a specific medical condition, you make a difference and impact the future of medicine. When you participate in a clinical trial, you receive quality, study-related care at no cost from local physicians and medical professionals. You may also be compensated for your time and travel. 

Are clinical trials safe?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has strict guidelines and regulations that help ensure the safety of clinical trials. According to the FDA, carefully conducted clinical trials are the safest and fastest way to find treatments that work in people and new ways to improve health. Those that participate in clinical trials are followed closely with blood work, physical exams, and other testing relevant to the study.

What are the benefits?

While each study is different, benefits of participating in a clinical trial may include some or all of the following:

  • Access to medication, medical care from specialists who know your condition, and laboratory services at no cost
  • The opportunity to receive an investigational medication that is not widely available
  • Knowledge that you are helping to advance medicine
  • You may receive compensation for your time and travel

What are the risks?

It's important to understand that there are no guarantees that you will benefit from the treatment involved in a study. Medications, both FDA approved and those under investigation, may have unknown side effects. In some studies you may receive a placebo, which looks like the study drug but does not have any medication in it. All potential risks that are known are fully disclosed to participants prior to beginning a study.

Do I have to sign a contract to participate?

As a participant in a clinical trial, you are a volunteer. You do not have to sign a contract to participate and you have the right as a participant to drop out of a study at any time. All studies do require participants to sign an informed consent document. This document explains the background of the health condition and medication being studied, what the study will involve, potential benefits and risks, and your responsibilities and rights as a participant. Signing this document assures that you understand the information that is provided to you and that you agree to participate in a study.

Do I need medical insurance to participate in any of your studies?

No medical insurance is necessary to participate in any clinical studies conducted at ClinPoint Trials. If you qualify for a study, you will be provided the study drug and study procedures at no cost to you. You may receive compensation for your time and travel.

How long is a clinical trial?

The commitment to a clinical trial varies from a few weeks up to several years. You will be told during your initial visit exactly what is expected of you during the trial. You will be provided as much time as you need to make a decision about whether or not you want to continue in screening for a study.

How often can I participate in studies?

You must take a 30-day break between studies. 

What can I expect as a participant?

Prior to beginning a study, you will receive an informed consent document. This document includes information about the purpose of the study, the investigational medication, the duration of the study, visits and procedures, potential benefits and risks, and if appropriate, what you will be paid for your time and travel. If you choose to consent to participate, our physicians and study staff will then determine if you meet all defined criteria for participation. 

During the study, you will be provided quality, study-related care and medical attention. You should feel free to discuss your medical treatment with our research staff at any time. As a participant, you may be asked to complete regular visits to our clinic for evaluation, have laboratory or diagnostic tests, and/or take medication. 

How often do you have new studies open?

We are continually seeking new study opportunities for the individuals in our community. We know months in advance what studies we will be offering. We post all study updates on our website. If you see an upcoming study you may be interested in, contact our office and we will add you to a waiting list. We will be able to notify you directly when the study opens. 

What if you do not have a study that suits my needs? 

If you are not interested or do not qualify for any of our current studies, you may be interested or qualify for a different study in the future. You can complete the form on our contact page to be added to our mailing list. When we start a new study that you may qualify for, we will contact you directly to see if you are interested. 

More questions?