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Considering Participating In A Clinical Research Study? Here Are A Few Common Myths You Should Know About And The Truth

Before a treatment, procedure or medication can be done or given to the general public, it needs to be tested. These tests determine whether the procedure is safe, what the side effects are and how effective the treatment, procedure or medication is. These tests are done on real people through a clinical research study. The information from these studies can then be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, who can approve or deny these treatments. If you are considering partaking in one of these studies, you should be aware that there are many myths out there about these studies. Here are three common myths and the truth about the myths.

Myth 1: Clinical Research Studies Aren't Monitored by a Higher Authority

Some people may be hesitant to take part in studies done by clinical research companies because they think no one oversees these groups or the studies. This could not be further from the truth. Many studies begin by testing the procedure, medication or treatment on animals. A group must then show that there is enough reason to believe the treatment may be beneficial to humans. Institutional review boards ensure that these groups have done due diligence to ensure that the study is being done on something that should be reasonably safe, and that test subjects are aware of any risks that the research group knows about.

Myth 2: All Your Medical Expenses Are Covered

While many clinical research companies will pay participants to partake in their trial, and pay for any medical care that is needed because of the condition that their study is looking at, they will not pay for all of your medical expenses while you are participating in the trial. In fact, many studies look for participants who only have the condition that is being treated. If you have other health issues, you may not be able to participate. If you are accepted, you can still continue to see your doctor for other conditions not related to the study, but you will pay for these visits with your own insurance or out of your own pocket.

Myth 3: Once You Join a Study, You Can't Quit

The last myth about joining a clinical research study is that you can't quit if you want to. This simply isn't true. While a research company would like every participant to follow through, you can quit the study if you don't feel comfortable with your treatment, have a family emergency, other medical issues arise, or you simply want to. It is important to note that you should continue to follow-up at the request of the doctor as you wean off of the medication or treatment for your safety.

Clinical research studies help to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the medical treatments that become commonplace for patients. If you are considering participating in one, take the time to do your research. There are many myths out there that are not necessarily true. Dispelling these myths can help you make an informed decision as to whether you should participate in one or not.