Clinical trials are a very important part of clinical research and at the heart of many medical advances. Many of us believe that participation in a clinical trial is restricted to people with certain conditions, but this is not true. Healthy people are also allowed to participate in clinical trials.
The purpose of a clinical trial is to determine the safety of a new treatment and if a new treatment or drug works (effectiveness). Clinical trials also benefit some participants in other aspects of health care, such as improving the quality of life for people who suffer with a chronic illness.
People participate in clinical trials for a variety of reasons. Healthy volunteers, or people with no apparent underlying condition, say they participate to help others and to contribute to moving science forward. Individuals who do have an illness or disease also participate to help others, but also to possibly receive the newest treatment and to have the additional care and attention from the clinical trial staff.
Research studies offer hope for many people andpresent many with an opportunity to help medical researchers find better treatments for others in the future.
Medical studies are done in Phases to ascertain different kinds of clinical information. Typically, Phase 1 studies include only small samples of healthy volunteers. In Phase 1 studies, researchers are working to determine primary safety of a novel compound/medication and may also determine how much study drug (dosages) is safe for a human.
Phase 2 studies generally include more people than Phase 1 studies. More often than not, the investigational drug is tested on people with a specific health indication that the drug is intended to treat.
After researchers have determined whether the new drug or treatment shows general safety in humans, the medication may progress into a Phase III research trial where larger numbers of patients with the health indication are recruited. Phase III research trials may compare the “study drug” to a placebo or comparator approved medication.
By participating in a clinical trial, you can help the process, help researchers better understand how the treatment works in people of different races and genders. If you’re a healthy individual interested in volunteering for a clinical trial, many “Healthy Study” opportunities exist.
Learn about upcoming Utah clinical trials.