Should You Participate?

What is a clinical trial?

A clinical trial is a research study involving human volunteers that tries to answer a specific health question. Clinical trials closely monitor people’s progress as they take part in the study of an investigational drug, device or method of treatment that has not been approved by the FDA. Carefully conducted clinical trials are the safest and fastest way to find treatments that work.

Why are clinical trials conducted?

Clinical trials study potentially new or improved treatment options. They are conducted to determine:

  • If a new drug or device is safe and effective for people to use
  • Different ways to use existing treatments so they will be more effective, easier to use, or have fewer side effects.

Why are some possible benefits of my participation?

The investigational treatment studied in a clinical trial may or may not benefit you personally. The benefits of participating in a clinical trial include:

  • Gaining access to cutting-edge research
  • Receiving expert medical care for the condition being studied, since doctors conducting clinical trials are often specialists in the disease areas being studied

How Volunteers Are Protected

To protect the rights and welfare of clinical trial participants, US federal agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), oversee much of the medical research in the US.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) oversee the centers where clinical trials take place. IRBs review and approve protocols to make sure that clinical trials are ethical and that volunteers’ rights are protected. They, too, are inspected by federal agencies.

What to Ask Before Participating in a Clinical Trial?

  • What is the main purpose of this clinical trial?
  • What is the research experience of the doctor and clinical trial staff?
  • How long is the clinical trial going to last and what will I be asked to do as a participant?
  • Is there any reimbursement for travel or other costs?
  • Will I be able to see my own doctor?
  • Will I receive any follow-up care after the clinical trial has ended?
  • What will happen if I am injured during the clinical trial?


If you or someone you know is interested in a alternative treatment option, consider learning more about Segal’s clinical study opportunities. Fill out the prescreen form below or call (877) 734-2588 for more information.

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