What is a clinical trial or clinically-based research?

A clinical trial (also called clinical research) is a research study in humans to answer specific questions. Carefully conducted clinical trials are the fastest and safest way to find treatments that work in people and ways to improve health. Interventional trials determine whether experimental treatments (medications, procedures, or behavioral interventions) or new ways of using known therapies are safe and effective under controlled environments. Observational trials address health issues in large groups of people or populations in natural settings. (These are often called epidemiologic studies.)

What are the benefits and risks of participating in a clinical trial?

Benefits. Clinical trials that are well-designed and well-executed are the best approach for eligible participants to:

Risks. There are risks to clinical trials and they vary with the specifics of the trial.

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