Q&A About Clinical Trials

Q&A About Clinical Trials

Get the Facts. Forget the Fiction.

Just what does a clinical trial entail? Let’s examine a few myths.

10 Myths About Clinical Trials

Myth 1: Being in a clinical trial only benefits the company doing the research and does nothing for me as a participant

Clinical research trials may give patients access to investigational treatments and expert medical care. Volunteers in clinical trials may have outcomes as good, if not better, than participants not in clinical trials.

Myth 2: I don’t get to decide if I participate in clinical research

The final choice of whether or not you want to participate in a clinical research trial is entirely up to you. Your doctor can help you consider your options and give you information about your disease and possible treatment options, and you can talk through the decision with friends and family.

Myth 3: Researchers treat participants like guinea pigs

The safety, well-being, legal rights, and ethical concerns of study volunteers are protected throughout the clinical trial by strict rules and regulations. Participants enrolled in clinical research trials are active participants in medical research, and can play a key role in the development and potential approval of a new treatment for their disease.

Myth 4: Clinical trials are unsafe

All clinical trials have both risks and benefits. The risks of participation depend both on the treatment being studied and the health of the subject participating in the study. Known risks will be explained by the clinical researchers before the trial begins when a participant is given an informed consent form. If any new risk information becomes available during the trial the participants will be informed by the researchers. If you think you have become ill or been injured while participating in a trial you should talk to your doctor.

Myth 5: Participating in a clinical trial is expensive

In many clinical studies, the study sponsor (the company that is developing the investigational medicine) will cover the costs of the study medications, study related medical procedures, and medical care received related to the study while a participant is enrolled in a study. Additionally, participants may be reimbursed for expenses incurred due to participation in a study, such as travel and parking costs.

Myth 6: Clinical research studies are for people who have no other option

There are different types of research studies and, while there are times when clinical trials are a last resort, they can also work alongside a participant’s standard treatment plan.

Myth 7: You need to live near a major hospital to participate

Clinical research trials can be conducted anywhere, with some having the option for continuing the treatment in your home or at a facility in your area. To find a study location near you, please contact a Trial Navigator or ask your physician at your next visit.

Myth 8: Informed Consent is only for lawyers

Informed consent not only gives participants information about their rights, but also helps them understand both the requirements and possible risks and benefits of participating in a clinical trial.

Myth 9: Once you sign the informed consent form, you’re legally bound to participate

Study participants can decide not to participate or leave a study at any time. Signing the informed consent form does not bind them to participate. Study volunteers work closely with their doctors in order to determine the best possible approach for treating their condition.

Myth 10: It’s hard to find information about clinical trials

Clinical research staff members are thoroughly trained in the research protocols in which a volunteer may participate. They are required to make sure study volunteers understand all of the benefits and possible risks of participating in a trial, and are available to answer questions.