Clinical trials are research studies in which new medical treatments are tested in people. “In general, the purpose of clinical trials is to evaluate the safety, effectiveness or best dosage schedule of experimental drugs or medical devices in persons having a specific disease or health condition. New drugs have to be evaluated before they are given to the general population. The safest and most effective way to evaluate drugs is in the format of a clinical trial” (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2000).
Clinical Trials are divided into four phases. Phase I trials are concerned with assessing the safety of a new treatment. Phase II trials test for the treatment’s efficacy. Phase III studies involve large-scale testing for a more thorough understanding of the drug’s effectiveness, benefits, and the range of possible adverse reactions. Phase IV involves research to continue assessing the treatment after it has been put on the market. For further information explaining clinical trials, visit “Understanding Clinical Trials” from ClinicalTrials.gov.
This section provides links to resources that can assist you in locating clinical trials for particular diseases or conditions. Please be sure to read any disclaimers and background information provided on each site.