Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Clinical Research as a Care Option – What does that mean, and why should I consider participating in a study?

Clinical research is a fantastic way to take a proactive role in your health and even get reimbursed for your time – So why isn’t everyone participating in a clinical trial? Well, if you currently consider clinical research a potential way to manage your disease or condition, consider this – 75% of the U.S. population does not even recognize clinical research as a health care option1.

Clinical research is a commonly misunderstood area of medicine, and as a result, there are some unfortunate perceptions held my many people. Additionally, when the majority of us are experiencing medical problems or have been diagnosed with a particular condition, our first (and usually only) reaction is to go to a doctor and trust his or her guidance and/or prescribed medications. If your condition doesn’t react appropriately to these medications or recommendations, you schedule another appointment and hope for the best.

While this way of thinking is understandable, it’s important to realize that new and potentially life-saving medications – along with the over-the-counter remedies you might reach for every day –  must first make their way to the market  through clinical research  before a doctor can prescribe them.

Many people are not aware that clinical trials are conducted under the rigorous oversight of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and patient safety is always the number one priority for everyone involved in the conduct of clinical research. You might prefer to look at it this way: clinical research volunteers have the opportunity to try new medications, medical devices, or vaccines that may not be available anywhere else, before anyone else. For many conditions often referred to as incurable or untreatable, research study participation is an excellent way to explore new potential treatment options. Study-related care, supplies, and medications are provided at no cost, and you will often receive financial compensation for time and travel expenses. Insurance is typically not required to participate in most clinical research studies.

Still unsure about whether or not you would benefit from participating in a clinical trial? Research shows that 98% of study volunteers would consider participating in another study1.

Clinical trial participation has even saved lives. Imagine coming in for a study visit, having bloodwork done, and finding out that you have a life-threatening condition that you may have never known about otherwise. One of our study participants experienced just that – Stay tuned for our next blog entry about this amazing story!


 1 https://www.centerwatch.com/images/infographics/Understanding-Clinical-Trials-Infographic-low.png

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