There are still many diseases for which there is no scientifically proven, effective, low-risk treatment. Clinical trials (clinical studies) are scientific tests conducted with the consent and cooperation of willing volunteers to check the efficacy and safety of new drugs, medical devices, and healthcare procedures. They are a crucial stage in the research and development process that can bring such treatments to the patients who need them.
Clinical trials are typically carried out for the purpose of:
- Testing novel drugs and treatments
- Comparing novel treatments to existing treatments
- Assessing new methods for using approved treatments that can make them more effective, easier to use, or decrease side effects
- Identifying how best to use a treatment in a specific population (eg. in a particular ethnic group or in children)