When you hear the phrase “clinical trial,” what usually comes to mind? We are aware that the normal discussion around clinical trials that you have heard might be clouded with negative talk, distrust, and hesitation. And when it comes to your health, we completely understand why you would want to explore every question and option before making a choice. But truthfully, so much of the information out there regarding clinical trials are misconceptions based on fear and undocumented ideas.
Clinical trials play a huge role in the advancement of the medical community. When doctors and scientists have a breakthrough idea involving a new treatment that might solve a chronic condition such as high blood pressure, clinical trials offer a safe and controlled environment to evaluate these newly researched and documented procedures. Participation in clinical trials is crucial to the advancement of treatments to help find a cure for many of the chronic conditions that plague our society today.
In an effort to continue to support and stand behind clinical trials, we have put together a list of the top ten misconceptions about clinical trials and the reasons why these hesitations can be put to rest once and for all.
1. I don’t want to be a guinea pig
The word “guinea pig” denotes that the trial is being tested first on you, which is not the case. The procedures and treatments being tested during a clinical trial have been researched, documented, and evaluated to the best of their ability years before they are put into a clinical trial. For all medically approved trials, there is no treatment that you will be signing up for that has not already been vetted and tested for numerous possible outcomes. Your participation in the clinical trial is to develop standard procedures, protocols, and number of success stories in order to put the new medical advancement on the market and available to everyone.
2. Clinical trials are not safe
Clinical trials are always done under the supervision and careful watch of a doctor or team of medical professionals. Just as any other procedure your doctor would administer, clinical trials offer the exact same care, follow-up and patient protocols. Because the medical procedures involved in clinical trials are carefully researched and documented before they are tested, doctors are well informed of possible outcomes, when interventions are necessary, and any type of medication management that may be needed during the trial period.
3. Clinical trials are only for people who need a last resort
Clinical trials can help find cures, medications, and procedures for a number of different people at various stages of their conditions. Of course, each trial is different, but in general, clinical trials are not only for individuals who have exhausted every other option available to them. In fact, many trials are designated to helping stop a condition before it gets worse. Most trials have eligibility requirements in which you can learn if the trial is right for you.
4. There are no Doctors involved in clinical trials, only corporations
While many medical corporations and companies fund the research behind clinical trials, they are not trained to carry out the treatments. In order for a clinical trial to be successfully tested, these medical companies rely on the teamwork and expertise of doctors to carry out these procedures. Clinical trials simply can not happen if there is no doctor involvement.
5. Cost of treatment not covered by insurance
Depending on the trial’s eligibility requirements, most insurance companies cover the cost of routine procedures associated with clinical trials. Be sure to check with your insurance company before you enroll in a clinical trial, but don’t assume it won’t be covered. Many trials offer some sort of reimbursement or assistance for travel and other elements associated with participation in the study. These details will be offered and explained upon enrollment in the trial.
6. I don’t want a randomized treatment done to me, vs a treatment being chosen by my Dr.
Doctors participating in clinical trials stand behind the treatment options that are being tested. Clinical trials in and of themselves are not randomized. Instead, they are well documented and researched medical treatments. The word “randomized” in the context of clinical trials has nothing to do with the medical treatment, and only to do with how participants are chosen within the trial to receive a certain procedure. Keeping a trial group randomized allows for neither the patient or the doctor to know who has received the treatment in the trial which therefore secures unbiased treatment.
7. I have to give up my standard treatment in order to participate
Many clinical trials actually require that you stay on your standard treatment protocol. Because safety is first and foremost during a clinical trial, approved trials and treatments would never recommend you go off medications or protocols during the trial period. A good rule of thumb is to always check with your doctor and be up to date on all of your prescriptions before you submit this information to the clinical trial. Study participants will be receiving the “gold standard” of care from a team monitoring all aspects of their health.
8. The Dr. knows what group I am in and therefore will treat me differently
Most approved trials operate under a blinded, randomized clinical study. This means that neither the patient or the doctor know who is being exposed to the new treatment and who is not. This allows for an unbiased treatment from the doctor to the patient, as well as an unbiased explanation of symptoms on the patient side.
9. The follow-up during the trial period too long and involved. I’d like a quick-fix instead.
The follow-up period for clinical trials is absolutely crucial to determining the outcome of the medical treatment being tested. Not only are designated protocols and procedures crucial to documenting the success of the trial, they are imperative to the safety of all participants.
10. Clinical Trials never work so there is no point in participating
Clinical trials are absolutely crucial to the advancement and development of medical procedures and treatments. They can change many of the chronic conditions that you or your loved ones deal with on a daily basis. Due to the high vetting, research, and study that goes into developing treatments in a clinical trial, most treatment options are put into the testing phase because of the high probability that they will make a large impact for the advancement of medicine.
We strongly believe in the safety and efficacy of clinical trials. Our own clinical trial is designed to manage uncontrollable high blood pressure, a chronic condition that many people across the globe are suffering from. As we recommend before entering any clinical trial, take a moment and go over our FAQs to see if you are eligible and if our trial is right for you.