Understanding Clinical Trials

Submitted by Elman Retina Group on January 16, 2020

Vision Clinical TrialsClinical trials are used to test the effectiveness and safety of new medications and treatments. Patients may benefit from getting access to medical treatments that they could not receive outside of the trial, and the researchers get the opportunity to test their treatments. In this post, the team at Elman Retina Group gives an overview of the clinical trial process.

The Purpose of Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are designed to determine how a specific drug or medical treatment affects a group of patients. The researchers will examine several issues during the trial, such as:

  • The effectiveness of the treatment
  • Side effects
  • Comparing the treatment to a control group
  • Effects of long-term use

Clinical trials help the medical community determine which treatments may work in the real world. Even if one treatment isn’t effective, a trial may give researchers insights that can be used in future trials.

Who Can Participate in a Clinical Trial?

Each clinical trial will have specific requirements, such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Having certain medical conditions

You will also need to be able to follow the rules of the trial. This may require showing up to periodic appointments, taking a medication on a regular schedule, or abstaining from certain behaviors during the trial. Some trials last for months or years, so make sure you’re comfortable with the commitment you’re making.

Finally, most trials will have some factors that may disqualify a person from participating. For example, you may be excluded from participation in certain trials if you are pregnant or lactating.

Is a Clinical Trial Right for You?

Clinical trials can give you access to medical treatments you wouldn’t otherwise be able to receive. If you have a condition that hasn’t responded to the treatments currently available, a clinical trial may give you more treatment options.

Some — but not all — clinical trials offer a stipend to participants. Any clinical trial will provide the medical care free-of-charge to all participants, and you will also work with a coordinator who assists you throughout the process.

If you’re interested in participating, ask your doctor about the availability of clinical trials in your area. Your doctor can tell you which trials may be a good fit for you and how to go about applying to participate.

Many patients who have participated in our clinical trials have felt a strong sense of altruism knowing they contributed positively to society by helping with this important clinical research.

To schedule an appointment with one of our Baltimore retina specialists, contact the Elman Retina Group today. We are committed to participating in many cutting-edge and exciting clinical trials for a variety of retinal diseases.