Think of the biggest medical breakthroughs of the modern era. Anything you can name, from the end of smallpox to the recent development of COVID-19 vaccines, owes its existence to clinical research.
Clinical research uncovers new or improved treatments for both rare and common conditions, and clinical trials confirm their efficacy and safety in humans. Both clinical research and clinical trials are essential for moving medicine forward, saving lives, and increasing quality of life for you, your loved ones, and your community.
By understanding what clinical research is, why it matters, and how to break down barriers to participation, you can become part of this essential process of discovery. And why should you consider it? Participating in a clinical trial can help improve the health of people everywhere, and it’s easier than you may think.
What Is Clinical Research?
Clinical research is a scientific process that examines new treatment options and/or new observations about health and illness in people. Clinical research can also include observational studies. These studies look at medical data and/or biological samples, but do not test new treatments. Then, through clinical trials, researchers confirm potential benefits and identify risks of new drugs and therapies before making them available to the public.
The clinical trial process happens in phases. Every step of the way, researchers must follow strict standards to prove efficacy and patient safety. Once a clinical trial demonstrates a new treatment is safe and effective, patients everywhere can begin to access its benefits.