Here at the Lehigh Center for Clinical Research, we are working to develop the medications and treatments of tomorrow with the research we do today. This crucial and exciting work depends on volunteers for our many different clinical studies, where we test and learn more about medications that are in their final stages of development. You could become one of these volunteers yourself, and get access to the perks of being involved in a clinical study! But first, you should learn as much as you can and consider the decision to be sure this is the right choice for you. If you’re looking for information about beginning a clinical study, you’ve come to the right place!
What is Clinical Research?
Clinical research is one of the phases of testing that a drug or treatment will go through before it’s approved for use. Before a drug reaches this phase, it goes through many rounds of extensive testing called preclinical or laboratory research, including testing on human cells and animal cells and testing in animals. After these phases but before clinical research can start, the compounds are submitted to the FDA, and they give their approval for the drug to begin clinical trials in humans. It’s only after all of this research that the drug begins to be taken by volunteers.
What are the Benefits of Participating in a Clinical Study?
When you participate in a clinical trial, you’re getting access to cutting edge new medications that haven’t hit the market yet. For people whose conditions are difficult to treat or haven’t responded to conventional treatments, this can be an exciting prospect, especially since they’ll be getting the drug at no charge. Additionally, participating in a clinical trial means that you’ll receive medical care from qualified physicians, and this care is often free. Some studies even offer a stipend to cover your time and travel.
What are the Drawbacks of Participating in a Clinical Study?
While the drugs that are approved for clinical research have gone through extensive testing, there are some reasons that a person may choose not to participate in a clinical trial. One of them is that with experimental drugs, there is always the possibility that the drug won’t work well for you, or that you may experience unpleasant side effects. Additionally, most clinical trials involve some of the patients taking a placebo drug that does nothing while others take the real thing in order to isolate the results better, and some people don’t want to risk being placed in the group that is getting the placebo.
Am I the Right Type of Person for a Clinical Study?
Since clinical studies cover a wide range of drugs, each one has different requirements for the kinds of people they accept. Some look for volunteers of a certain age or sex that’s relevant to the drug, some look for volunteers who have no health problems while others look for volunteers who have very specific health problems– for instance, a certain type and stage of cancer. There’s as many clinical studies out there as there are types of people, and the needs of each study are unique.
This is why you have to apply to be accepted into a clinical study, and why it’s always important to be complete and honest in the information you give them. You might not be the right fit for a particular trial if, for example, the clinical trial is for Alzheimer’s and you’re a young person who has no problems with memory, or the drug may not be safe for you to take based on your medical history. Volunteers for a clinical study are chosen carefully to ensure that the researchers get clear and accurate information about their drug and that everyone involved in the trial is safe and protected!
How Can I Get Started?
If you’re interested in participating in a clinical trial, Lehigh Center for Clinical Research is the place to go! Visit our volunteers page to learn more about our clinical trials and apply for ones that may be relevant to you. We look forward to working with you in the future to develop the treatments of tomorrow!