Deciding to Participate in a Clinical Research Study
You should learn as much as possible about the clinical research studies that interest you. You should feel comfortable discussing your questions and concerns with members of the research team. It is also important to talk to other people involved with your health care, such as family members, before participating in a clinical research study.
Prospective participants should understand what happens during the research study, the type of health care they will receive, and any costs to them -- which may or may not include the cost of the product, costs associated with administering the product, etc.
Anyone considering a clinical research study should also know that there are benefits and risks associated with participating.
- Access to a treatment that isn't available yet. This treatment may be more effective or have fewer side effects than the treatments that are currently available.
- Treatment that may be free or low cost. Some clinical research studies may pay for part or all of your treatment, other medical care, travel, and other expenses during the study. But not all clinical research studies do this. Make sure you know exactly what you'll have to pay for BEFORE you agree to be part of a clinical research study.
- Contributing to research that may help others in the future. Many treatments we have today are available because large numbers of people opted to participate in clinical research studies to test them.
- The feeling that you're taking an active role in your care. Deciding to participate in a clinical research study can make some people feel as if they have more control over their situation, which can lead to a more positive outlook and better quality of life.
- Not being able to choose which treatment you get. In randomized studies, you are randomly assigned to get a specific treatment. In some studies, you may be assigned to get a placebo (sugar pill). In a randomized, double-blinded study, neither you nor your doctors know which treatment you're getting (but if the information is needed, it's available).
- The new treatment may not work for you, even if it benefits other people in the trial. It also may turn out that the new treatment isn't as effective as what's currently available.
- More severe side effects than current treatments. This is more likely to happen with Phase I or Phase II studies.
- Your insurance company may not cover all the costs. Be sure to talk to both your insurance company and one of the clinical research coordinators so you know exactly what you'll have to pay for BEFORE you agree to be part of a clinical research study.
- More frequent testing and doctor visits. Because you'll be closely monitored, you may have to undergo testing more often than you would if you weren't in the study. This could mean more travel and time in the doctor's office or hospital for you.
The following link provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions about clinical research studies.
For additional information about dermatology clinical research studies, click on the links below:
Or contact us at:
Clinical Research Unit
3301 C Street, Suite 1400
Sacramento, CA 95816
Telephone: (916) 734-1267
Fax: (916) 442-5702