A large number of trials being conducted, especially those in Phase III, give the same drug or treatment to a large group to confirm its effectiveness. They also compare the outcome to other treatments currently on the market.
Clinical trials have many different phases
Here are three phases to each clinical trial before it gets Food Drug Administration (FDA) approval:
I – Researchers test an experimental drug or treatment in a small group of people (20–80) for the first time. The purpose is to evaluate its safety and identify side effects.
II – The experimental drug or treatment is administered to a larger group of people (100–300) to determine its effectiveness and to further evaluate its safety.
III – The experimental drug or treatment is administered to large groups of people (1,000–3,000) to confirm its effectiveness, monitor side effects, compare it with standard or equivalent treatments, and collect information that will allow the experimental drug or treatment to be used safely.
As you can see in the table above, there’s a difference in protocol and safety with each phase of a trial you participate in.
You’re integral to our society and the future of medicine
Without participants willing to take part in studies, we would never have new treatment options! Clinical trials are the essential origin of every FDA-approved medication or procedure. Even the over-the-counter medications in your medicine cabinet have gone through clinical trials with human participants. Someone you’ve never met helped make that pain-relieving prescription a reality!
Clinical trials don’t have the same level of awareness as organ or bone marrow donations, but they’re just as important. People who participate in these studies can end up saving the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of people.
Your health is a top priority
Yes, clinical trials may scare you since they’re experimental with hypothesized outcomes, but the studies are sure to adhere to strict criteria. This aids in the safety and success of the procedure, drug, or intervention. Remember, if you choose to participate, you are the most integral part of the clinical trial.
Participants are closely monitored for side effects
Prior to the commencement of the study, your principal investigator will fully review the side effects that the experimental treatment might cause. Remember that the purpose of these clinical trials is to test the effectiveness of new therapies, which means that there is a risk involved. Experienced side effects can be managed successfully by the medical care team at a clinic.