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Clinical Trials - Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Benefits And Risks Of Participating In A Clinical Trial?

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The phase of a trial may have a direct bearing on the possible benefits and risks of a study.

The benefits may include:

  • Taking an active role in your own health care.
  • Gaining early access to new treatments that are not yet available to the public.
  • Obtaining expert medical care and treatment at some of the nation's leading healthcare facilities during the trial.
  • An accessible, informal expert source to answer questions about your condition.
  • Meeting other people with your condition with whom you can trade practical tips and local information.
  • Helping others with your condition by contributing to much needed medical research.

Possible risks may include:

  • Side effects or adverse reactions to medication or treatments.
  • The treatment may not be effective for you which means you have not spent the time taking a treatment which may be effective. Your condition may worsen as a result.
  • The treatment protocol may require a lot of your time and commitment for trips to the study site, treatments, hospital stays, or complex dosage requirements.
  • There may be some out-of-pocket costs associated with a trial, ranging from uncovered testing, to travel and child-care expenses.

The drug may work, but it may not be available once the trial ends. There are no government rules mandating that someone who is doing well on an experimental medicine must keep getting it.

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