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What should I know before joining a clinical trial?

Often, the health research studies you hear about in the news either “observe” people or do not involve people at all. Clinical trials are different. These are research studies in which people volunteer to test new drugs or devices. We use clinical trials to learn whether an investigational drug, vaccine or device works and is well-tolerated by most people. These kinds of studies are needed to develop new treatments for any disease or to find ways to improve existing treatments.

Deciding to take part in a clinical trial is an important decision, and it is yours to make. To understand if a clinical trial might be appropriate for you, you may find it useful to get as much information about available treatment options as possible and to understand what clinical trials are being performed.