What is a clinical trial?

Health care is always changing and advancing. Physicians and scientists are constantly developing new medications, new devices, and new diagnostic techniques. But for any of these to become available to you, they must first receive approval by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).

Clinical trials are performed to determine the safety and effectiveness of any new medication, device or technique. There are 4 stages of clinical trials:

    • First a test is done in animals.
    • Next there are clinical trials conducted in a small group of healthy human volunteers.
    • Then studies are conducted in larger groups of people who have the disease or condition that the treatment targets.
    • Finally, once the treatment, device or technique is approved by the FDA, additional information is collected from patients being treated.