Find the best clinical trials in your area

  • Posted By
    Victoria Stephens

  • Published On
    Sat, April 16

  • Reading Time
    4 Minutes

Clinical trials are important for discovering new treatments for diseases, as well as new ways to detect, diagnose, and reduce the chance of developing the disease.

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Clinical trials are a crucial part of the process of developing, licensing and bringing new life-changing, life-saving drugs and therapies to patients. Trials ensure that new treatments are both safe and effective, enabling medical practitioners and patients to use them with confidence, so that they can live a healthier life. This highlights just how important medical research is, and why your contribution is so vital. Imagine the feeling of doing your part to help put future generations in a better place than we are now. And in some cases, imagine being a part of the attempt to eradicate diseases in the here and now.

While clinical trials are important, the choice to participate in one is very personal and depends on your unique situation. You and your doctor need to weigh the benefits against the risks and decide what’s best for you, when presented with a clinical trial.

So who qualifies?

Clinical trials are available for:

  • People of all ages, sex, race, or ethnic groups can be in clinical trials.
  • Some people are healthy, while others may have illnesses.
  • The kinds of people needed for a trial depend on the trial itself and the questions it is trying to answer.

The reality is, for all new therapies and all the advances we make in developing them, they must be tested and here lies one of the largest blockages to providing faster access to billions of people; Clinical Trial Recruitment.

“The only problem where I don’t yet see a clear path forward yet is how to develop more efficient ways to recruit patients for clinical trials…. If we could find a way to pre-screen participants, we could start new trials quickly.” — Bill Gates

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Who can clinical trials help?

Lack of diversity in clinical trials can lead to the development of drugs that only work for some people — or may even harm whole segments of the population. It also creates research conditions that ignore diverse genetic, environmental, cultural and lifestyle factors that play a key role in the development and treatment of medical conditions. For medical research to work properly, everyone must be represented.

Whites make up roughly two-thirds (67%) of the overall U.S. population, but account for 83% of research study participants. Compare that to African Americans who make up 13.4% of the U.S. population and 5% of study participants and Latinos who comprise 18.1% of U.S. residents yet make up less than 1% of clinical trial participants.

In simple terms, good representation means good science. Leaving any segment of our population out of health research is no longer acceptable or productive — a truth the global pandemic shed a stark light on.

Paid vs Unpaid Clinical Trials?

When we speak with patients, we often hear this question: “do I have to pay to participate in this clinical trial?” Typically, patients do not have to pay for clinical trial costs. In some instances, they may have to pay copays and payments toward a deductible if those are part of their insurance plan. Every trial is different, but the clinical trial sponsor usually pays for all research-related costs and any special testing.

Some clinical trials offer payment to participants. This is more common for earlier trials, particularly Phase 1. The amount of payment often has to do with the phase of the trial. Phase 1 trials, for example, pay more (around $2,000 on average) because the treatments being studied are less well-understood. Compare that to Phase IV trials, which offer the lowest average compensation (around $400). Paid clinical trials, compensation for travel, and patient travel services can help make it easier for you to take part in research.

Later-stage clinical trials sometimes offer reimbursement for your trial or, more often, for travel or childcare. Reimbursements aren't always advertised and can vary from site to site, so ask the study team if you're interested in learning more.