Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) From Clinical Trial Volunteers
Are you considering volunteering for a clinical trial? We understand you may have some questions before you get started.
Below are some of the frequently asked questions of previous volunteers.
• What is a clinical trial?
• Do I qualify to participate in a clinical trial?
• Why should I participate?
• What are my rights as a research participant?
• Why are clinical trials necessary?
• Do I have to have medical insurance to participate?
• Are clinical trials safe?
• Still have questions? Inform yourself on clinical trials with independent resources
Q: What is a clinical trial?
A: Clinical trials are designed to test and study the safety and effectiveness of investigational medications or treatments.
Q: Do I qualify to participate in a clinical trial?
Not everyone who wants to join a clinical research study will qualify. There are often extremely specific criteria for meeting the qualifications of a clinical trial. Our staff will ask a series of questions in a pre-screening interview. Sometimes, a second screening will take place to make sure you meet the qualifications for the trial.
Q: Why should I participate?
Participants in clinical trials play an active role in their own health care, gain access to cutting-edge research treatments before they are available to the general public. Your participation in a clinical trial helps others by contributing to the development of these treatments.
Q: What are my rights as a research participant?
As a research participant, you have the right to drop out of a study at anytime, the right to be given new information about the study, and the right to ask questions at anytime and have them answered promptly.
Q: Why are clinical trials necessary?
Clinical trials are an essential part of making sure the drugs and medical treatments we all use are safe and effective, compared to a placebo or to existing therapies. We conduct trials to predict how well a medication or therapy will perform in the general population when used to treat a certain condition.
Q: Do I have to have medical insurance to participate?
No. Medical insurance is not required. Study participants will receive study-related medical examinations and study-related medication at no cost. Eligible participants may receive compensation for their time and travel.
Q: Are clinical trials safe?
Our number one priority is the safety of all trial participants. That said, there may be the risk that one could be harmed from the drug or therapy that is being examined causing the potential for hospitalization or other medical intervention. There is also the risk that a participant will experience side effects from the drug they are receiving which can range from mild to severe. On the other hand, there are many benefits such as helping to further break-through drugs, gaining access to new potential treatments and therapies that have not yet been released to the general public, regular medical care and attention by medical professionals, and possible compensation.
Inform Yourself on Clinical Trials with Independent Resources
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
National Institutes of Health
Centerwatch – FAQ for Volunteers of Clinical Trials
Clinical Connection – Learn About Clinical Trials