What is a clinical study?

Clinical studies, or clinical trials, help researchers learn more about a potential treatment. Clinical studies are needed to make sure a medicine is safe and works before it is approved by regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Learn more about clinical trials, study phases and participant protections.

Video created by Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation

During a clinical study, researchers want to find answers to many questions:

  • Is the medicine safe? 
  • Does it work? 
  • Does it work better than other treatments available? 
  • What are the side effects?  

Why join a clinical study?

Joining a study is an important, personal decision. There are many reasons to consider joining:

  • Access to an investigational medicine
  • Access to study tests and care 
  • Help advance science
  • Potentially help other people living with your disease
  • Learn more about your disease

People who volunteer and join a clinical study help make new medicines possible. There are benefits and risks to joining a clinical study. The study team will review all of them with you as part of the informed consent process.

Learn more about clinical studies

These resources have more information about clinical study—including how your
privacy and safety are protected.

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