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How Can You Participate In A Clinical Trial?

If you would like to be in a clinical trial, the best place to start is usually to discuss it with your own physician.  Whether or not your doctor is involved with clinical trials, s/he can advise you regarding the suitability of your condition for a trial and whether it would be in your best interest, medically, to participate.  S/he may also be able to direct you to an on-going clinical trial site. For more information on clinical trials, check out our Women's Health Resources.

Important questions to ask your physician (and then to the physician running the clinical trial) if you want to be in a clinical trial:

___   Am I a good candidate for this clinical trial?
___   Will trial participation enhance my medical care in any specific way?
___   Does participation in this trial give me access to medicine that is not yet available to the general public?
___   Is there a chance that I will be in the placebo group?  If I am in the placebo group, will I have a chance to try the study medication after the trial?
___   How long is the trial?
___   Where is the trial being conducted?
___   What treatments will be used and how?
___   What is the main purpose of the trial?
___   How will patient safety be monitored?
___   What are the known risks (short term side effects and longer term effects) of this study medication?
___   What are the possible benefits of the study medication?
___   Can I opt to remain on this treatment, even after termination of the trial?
___   What are the alternative treatments besides the one being tested in the trial?
___   Who is sponsoring the trial?
___   Do I have to pay for any part of the trial?
___   What happens if I am harmed by the trial?
___   Are there certain behaviors or activities I will have to avoid during the trial (e.g. smoking, drinking, getting pregnant)?
___   Are there certain behaviors (e.g. diet, exercise, contraception) that I will have to practice during the trial?
___   What are the risks if I were to get pregnant during this trial?
___   How will my medical costs be handled during the trial?
___   Will I be asked to take invasive medical tests that I would not otherwise need?
___   What kind of time commitment am I making per required visit by participating in this trial?
___   Will I be compensated for travel, childcare or other incidental expenses?
___   How will this trial add to the body of medical knowledge in this field?
___   Will the results of this trial potentially impact my own medical care?

Created: 11/7/2000  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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