Clinical trials are research studies that involve volunteers participating in the testing of new drugs, medical devices or delivery methods to determine their safety and effectiveness. Clinical trials are often considered as one of the safest and fastest way to find effective health care treatments.
These trials primarily require people with specific medical conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes, etc.). However, some trials (for example, vaccine trials) may require healthy individuals also.
Clinical trial participants gain the satisfaction of aiding the development of new treatments, cures and preventions of diseases. They may also have access to new treatments before they become widely available in the market.
Many clinical trials are conducted to see if a new drug or device is safe and effective for people to use.
Clinical trials are also done for other reasons.
Some compare existing treatments to determine which is better. The current, approved treatments are called the "standard treatments."
Sometimes clinical trials are used to study different ways to use the standard treatments so they will be more effective, easier to use, and/or decrease side effects.
Sometimes, studies are done to learn how to best use the treatment in a different population, such as children, in whom the treatment was not previously tested.