Should I join a clinical research study?

It's your choice if you want to join a clinical research study to diagnose and treat an illness. Before you decide to join a study, consider both the benefits and risks.

Benefits may include:

  • Getting health care from top doctors
  • Getting access to new drugs and treatments before they're widely available
  • Having health professionals monitor your health care closely for any side effects
  • Taking a more active role in your own health care
  • Being among the first to benefit if the drug or treatment is found to be helpful
  • Making an important contribution to research that may help others with the same illness

Risks may include:

  • Experiencing side effects from new drugs and treatments your doctors may not know about
  • Getting drugs and treatments that aren't effective, or less effective, than current approaches
  • Not benefiting from a drug or treatment that may benefit others

Before agreeing to take part in a study, someone involved in the study will explain it to you. Then, they'll ask you to sign an informed consent form which describes the study and what's being tested. The form will also explain any possible risks.

Before signing the form, ask questions so you understand and are comfortable with what will happen during the study. Ask any questions or bring up any issues you have about the study at any time.

Find out what's covered in qualifying clinical studies.