We hear a lot about clinical trials, but what are they and who do they benefit? Clinical trials are studies that drug companies use to test new medications and therapies.
Types of Trials
There are four different types of trials: Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3 and randomized clinical trials. Phase 1 trials are typically used with new drugs or treatments and usually involve a smaller number of. At this stage, there are a lot of unknown factors, such as effectiveness and possible side effects, and volunteers are closely monitored. Phase 2 trials happen after the initial effects are know, and involve larger pools of volunteers.
The focus in on looking for improvement in the patients’ conditions and managing side effects. Phase 3 trials involve up to thousands of participants, in order to better gauge how wide-spread the side effects are and get a better idea of how effective the treatment will be in the population at-large. Randomized studies involve a control group, who is given either no treatment or the standard treatment for a condition, and the experimental group, which receives the new treatment. The effects on both groups are then compared and studied.
Why Do People Volunteer for Clinical Trials?
People that participate in these trials are either healthy volunteers who receive compensation for their participation or people who are ill and seeking alternative treatment. People generally volunteer for two different reasons; either they’re hoping for a new cure for their own or a loved one’s condition or they hope to help other sufferers in the future by taking part in the development of new treatment options.
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