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Understanding Clinical Trials

Why Clinical Trials Are Important

Advances in medicine and science come from new ideas and approaches developed through research. New medical treatments must prove to be safe and effective in scientific studies with a certain number of patients before they can be made widely available.

Through clinical trials, researchers at UHealth learn which approaches are more effective than others. A number of treatments that are now standard were first shown to be effective in clinical trials.

Scientists may conduct clinical trials to accomplish a variety of research goals. The different types of clinical trials are:

    Treatment trials test new drugs, medical devices, medical procedures, or combinations of treatments.

    Prevention trials look at better ways to prevent diseases from developing or returning. These trials may study medicines, vaccines, vitamins, minerals, or lifestyle changes.

    Screening trials look at new ways to test if someone has a disease or health condition.

    Quality of life trials look into ways to improve comfort and quality of life for people who have ongoing medical conditions.

Benefits To You

Involvement in a clinical trial is strictly voluntary, but people who participate can experience benefits.

Here are some benefits you could receive as a clinical trial subject:

  • Access to promising drugs, medical devices, or treatment approaches before the general public
  • Free or subsidized health care for the duration of the trial
  • A more active role in your own health care
  • Expert medical care at a leading health care facility
  • Close monitoring of your health care and side effects

And if you decide to participate in a clinical trial at UHealth, you will play in important role in advancing scientific knowledge and helping future patients.