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How to Participate in a Clinical Trial

Aug 2, 2020 by CenTrial

How to find a clinical trial

For many people, clinical trials can provide access to the latest medical breakthroughs and investigational drugs. For those wanting to participate as a healthy adult, it is a chance to give back to their community by helping new treatments go through the FDA approval process and become available to the population at large.

If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, you will most likely need to advocate for yourself. You may want to search for a clinical trial to help you with a specific health challenge, or you may wish to participate as a healthy volunteer.

You can start by asking your doctors if they know of a trial appropriate for you.

If they can't help, all clinical trials are listed on the National Institutes of Health database at clinicaltrials.gov.

Other websites such as the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation use the data from the clinicaltrials.gov database but present it in a more user-friendly way.

If you are looking for a trial for a specific condition try searching for that condition online. There are many reputable websites such as the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research that provide help in specialized areas.

Once you have determined a possible match, you will need to be screened to be sure you meet all the trial inclusion and exclusion criteria that are unique for each trial.

If you meet all the criteria, you will be asked to sign that you understand the terms of participating. Take the forms home and go over them with friends or family. Make sure you understand what you are getting into.

Some of the information you should review is:
  • How long the trial will last
  • How often you will have to come in for treatment
  • How far you will need to travel to your appointments
  • Does the trial include overnight stays, and if so, how many
  • What type of procedures are involved such as blood draws, injections, pills, etc.
  • What side effects, if any, you can expect
  • Will you be compensated for your expenses, or paid a stipend

If you are satisfied with the information, sign the paperwork and the trial organizers will then guide you in the next steps.


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