Before Signing Up Know The Risks Of Clinical Trials

There are advertisements for clinical trials in magazines, bulletin boards, the Internet, newspapers and even Television. Some clinical trials pay the participants, some offer a chance of a cure for whatever disease participants are suffering. When drug companies are looking for participants in their human clinical tests of experimental drugs, they tout the possible benefits, but are not so open about possible risks to participants. There are laws to protect those participating in clinical trials that require every one to receive paperwork outlining not only the benefits, but possible problems and side effects. Those thinking of taking part in clinical trials should read all the information before deciding.

Why Do People Take Part In Clinical Trials?

College students often take part in clinical trials to earn money to supplement their meager college budgets. Some people take part for humanitarian reasons–to further medical science, for instance. Others have the disease that the drug may be able to treat or even cure. They want to be healthier and are willing to take a chance on a clinical study of a new drug that may help them. There are participants who fit the profile and can not afford medical treatment for the condition any other way. Drugs and treatments involved in clinical studies are often free to participants. Some people take part in clinical studies because they are debilitated in some way and hope the new drug or treatment protocol will improve their quality of life. Some people take part in clinical studies, because they have exhausted existing treatments and will die if they do not find a new treatment that works. Some participants fit the profile and are curious about the treatment and if it will really work. For some, the risks of clinical trials are worth taking.

What Risks Could Participants Face In A Clinical Trial?

Many clinical tests are blind tests with part of the people getting the new drug, part getting an existing drug and the rest getting a placebo. If you are relying on the clinical trial to cure whatever condition you are suffering, you may be disappointed. Your chances of getting the new drug are about 50% and the chances of it working are not sure, that is why this is a clinical trial. If you get the new drug you may have side effects from it. Patients that are in critical need of treatment to live, should make sure that the clinical trial they are participating in gives everyone the real drug to be tested. Getting a placebo could be a death sentence to these people. Since this is a new drug, there are risks of reactions and side effects that could be serious, even life threatening. Anyone in a clinical trial should report any ill effects immediately.

Clinical trials serve a very useful purpose for society because they keep drugs off the market that have bad side effects, or just do not work. They help test drugs that are promising and can save lives in the future. With good protocols and safety measures in place, clinical trials could be a good alternative to many people with conditions that have been resistant to existing treatments.