Clinical trials play a crucial role in advancing medical research. Many people are often hesitant to consider participating in a clinical research trial because they don’t fully understand the process, or they’ve heard some misleading things. Let’s discuss some of the many common myths surrounding clinical trial participation.
Myth 1: Clinical trial participants are just human guinea pigs
When you hear ‘guinea pig,’ this term implies that the trial is initially being tested on you, as a participant. This is far from the case, as the procedures and treatments in a clinical research trial have been studies and tested for numerous possible outcomes before you ever have the opportunity to participate. Strict guidelines are also in place to make sure that clinical trial volunteers are treated fairly and ethically.
Myth 2: I will have to pay out-of-pocket for the cost of the treatment in the clinical trial because it is not covered by my insurance or I don’t have insurance.
Most clinical trials are offered with no out-of-pocket expense, no insurance required. Many clinical trials also offer compensation for study-related time and travel expenses.
Myth 3: I will get a placebo.
Whether or not a placebo will be used during a clinical research trial depends on different factors. The Office for Human Research Protection published guidelines in 2008 referring the use of placebos. The guidelines state, “Placebos may be used in clinical trials where there is no known or available (i.e., FDA-approved) alternative therapy that can be tolerated by subjects.”[i] Before enrolling in a clinical trial, you would be made aware with the Informed Consent if there was a possibility that you would receive a placebo.
Myth 4: Clinical trials are only a last resort.
Clinical trials help to find new treatments for people with conditions at various stages. Many clinical trials are even designed to help stop a condition before it gets worse.
Myth 5: If I decide to volunteer for a clinical trial, I won’t be able to change my mind.
The key word here is volunteer. Your participation in a clinical research trial is completely voluntary, and you have the right to leave the trial at any time.
If you’re ready to get involved in a clinical study, CLICK HERE and enter your zip code to see what studies are enrolling near you.