Scientists from all over the world are in a race to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 which is still wreaking havoc globally. Their efforts to search for a vaccine – or in lieu of that, more effective treatments – stresses the importance of clinical trial participation. Here we offer here 3 reasons why you should consider volunteering for one yourself.
- Clinical trials are necessary! Clinical trials help introduce new medical treatments to the public. Some of these treatments improve the quality of life for patients while some are indeed life saving. Clinical studies evaluate treatments to determine whether or not they are safe and effective. If these treatments meet these criteria they will then be made available to the public. However, none of this can happen unless volunteers participate in these trials.
- Participants receive enhanced medical care during and after the trial: When you participate in a clinical trial, you will have access to an entire network of medical professionals who monitor your progress every step of the way. Indeed, participants see their doctor more frequently and experience benefits not available from standard, approved treatments.
- Clinical trials give you access to new treatments! Participating in a clinical trial gives you access to experimental, cutting-edge treatment options that are not available to the public at large. This can be very important. Take the current COVID-19 crisis for example. Participants in COVID-19 trials have immediate access to a vaccine that may protect them.
Of course, you should not go into a clinical trial blind. We suggest you ask the right questions of your recruiter such as:
What is the time commitment for participation?
Will I need the support of a family member or friend to help me manage the experience?
What can I expect from the treatment?
Will I know if I’m on treatment versus being in the control group?
What are the risks or side effects I might experience?
Is there compensation?
When will the results of the trial be shared and how will I find out about them?
The simple fact of the matter is that clinical trials are often under-enrolled. Indeed, studies show that up to 37% of clinical trials don’t enroll enough patients to move forward, while another 11% fail to enroll even one patient. This can and does have a devastating effect on the future of medicine. That is why for all of the reasons above we encourage you to join our database so that you can be matched with an appropriate clinical trial.