Have you ever wondered about the development of medications or medical treatments that could one day improve the health and quality of life of millions of people?
Clinical trials are a fundamental part of this process. Volunteer participation in clinical trials is essential for the development and approval of new medications and medical treatments.
To discover better treatment methods and medications, pharmaceutical companies must conduct research and clinical trials. These trials help them to learn how a medication works and how safe and effective it is.
That is where Research Centers of America (RCA) comes in. As one of Florida’s leading clinical research companies, our areas of expertise include general medicine, sleep disorders, vaccines, mental health, and substance abuse, and we have conducted an incredibly wide range of clinical studies over the years.
Clinical studies are a necessary and incredibly valuable part of the process, and the people who volunteer to participate in them may benefit not only themselves but also countless others in the future. If you or someone you love is battling addiction, a medical condition, or mental illness, or would like to contribute to the development of new medications/treatments, you may be able to join one of our studies at RCA.
What is a Clinical Trial?
A clinical trial is a research study in human volunteers intended to answer particular health questions. Clinical trials at RCA are conducted to develop new medications or treatments that can improve health. After a medication or treatment is found to be safe and effective, it may be approved by the FDA and then, it will be available for the population.
No treatment may reach clinical testing unless there is evidence that there might be an improvement over current therapies.
Why Participate in a Clinical Trial?
Medical treatment cannot improve without research and volunteers. Everyone would like a successful treatment available to them if they are diagnosed with an illness. By volunteering for clinical trials at RCA you can help advance knowledge about future treatments that someday you and a loved one may benefit from.
As a research participant at RCA you have the ability to take an active role in your own health, access possible investigational medications/treatments before they are widely available, and help future generations. Volunteers will also be compensated in return for their time and travel.
Who Can Participate in a Clinical Trial?
All clinical trials have guidelines about who can get into a specific study. The factors that allow someone to participate in a clinical trial are called “inclusion criteria” and those that disqualify someone from participating are called “exclusion criteria”.
These criteria are based on such factors as age, gender, the type and stage of a disease, previous treatment history, and other medical conditions. In order to join clinical trials at RCA, a participant must meet the requirements for the study. Some research studies seek participants with illnesses or conditions to be studied in the clinical trial, while others need healthy participants. Inclusion and exclusion criteria are used to identify proper participants and keep them safe and ensuring that the research questions will be answered properly.
Learn More About Clinical Trials
What Happens During a Clinical Trial?
The clinical trial process depends on the type of trial being conducted. The clinical trial team includes doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. These professionals will check your health at the beginning of the trial, give you specific instructions for participating in the trial, monitor you carefully during the trial, and stay in touch after the trial is completed.
Some clinical trials include more tests and doctor visits than you would normally have for an illness or condition. Your participation will be more successful if you follow the protocol carefully and stay in contact with the research staff.
What is Informed Consent?
Informed consent is the process of learning the key facts about the clinical trial such as its purpose, duration, required procedures, and key contacts, before deciding whether or not to participate. When you decide to join a clinical trial you will receive an informed consent document that includes the details about the study. Often times, consent documents are also available in Spanish. Joining a clinical trial is a very important decision so, you must ask the research team any questions you may have about the study before you make a decision to continue.
What Are the Benefits of Participating in a Trial?
Besides playing an active role in your own health care and helping others by contributing to medical research, you can also enjoy benefits like:
- Access to new medical treatments or medications that are not available in the market or in medical clinics
- Obtaining a medical evaluation at top health care facilities during the trial
- Receive a stipend to help compensate for time and travel, if you qualify
How is the Safety of the Participant Protected?
The ethical and legal codes that govern medical practice also apply to clinical trials and most are federally regulated with built in safeguards to protect the participants. The trials follow a carefully controlled protocol, which is a study plan that outlines what researchers will do during the trial. As the study progresses, researchers report the results of the trial at scientific meetings, to medical journals, and to various government agencies. Individual participants’ names will remain secret and will not be mentioned in these reports.