Debunking 4 Common Myths About Clinical Trials

clinical studyWhen it comes to a clinical study, many people don’t quite understand either the purpose or how the process works. Clinical trials are incredibly important for the advancement of medical science, despite the fact that there are many common misconceptions about the practice. Here are just a few common myths about clinical studies.

  1. Myth: Patients are mistreated.
    Many people seem to think that the patients involved in a clinical study are mistreated or treated like guinea pigs. However, that’s nothing more than an urban legend, as many patients report after the study that they were treated with the utmost care and respect. There are also many safeguards in place to prevent mistreatment. Patients receive more frequent care and medical attention, and in addition, clinical drug development cannot be approved without the valuable data gathered during a clinical study. If there are no willing participants, data cannot be collected.
  2. Myth: Clinical studies are expensive.
    While many people believe that participating in medical research studies is expensive, the reality is, investigational medicines are generally provided to the patient at no charge. The study sponsor may even cover additional expenses. Plus, the Affordable Care Act mandates that health insurance companies cover routine costs associated with an approved clinical study. However, it’s important to discuss what is and isn’t covered with the clinical trial research team before participating.
  3. Myth: Patients will either receive a placebo or nothing at all.
    This is another common misconception, but the reality is that if placebos are used at all, they’re generally given in addition to standard, proven treatment methods. Placebos may also be used when testing a new treatment for a specific type or stage of a disease that has no other standard treatment options available. However, even this is very uncommon. The bottom line is, if a placebo is to be used in a trial, rest assured that you will be fully aware of any risks.
  4. Myth: Once a patient starts a clinical trial, they cannot back out.
    This myth is just ridiculous. A patient may refuse to participate at any point during the trial whatsoever. Involvement in any clinical trial, whether it’s a phase 1 clinical trial or not, is entirely voluntary. Patients can stop their participation at any time and return to the standard treatment. In fact, informed consent is so important that in the 9th revision of the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Code, it has its own section, 8.02.

Ultimately, clinical studies are essential for the advancement of medical science. For more information about conducting clinical trials, contact Pinnacle Research Group, LLC.