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The Benefits and Risks of Clinical Trials

Nicholas Wills4 years ago

According to the U.S. National Institute of Health, clinical trials “are generally considered to be biomedical or health-related research studies in human beings that follow a pre-defined protocol.”

What Does a Clinical Trial Involve?

A clinical trial is composed of many things. In the most basic sense, a clinical trial is made up of the staff and the participants. The staff is composed doctors, nurses, social workers, and other health care professionals. The participants include anyone who is willing and eligible to participate in a given study.

Know the Risks and Benefits to Participating in Clinical Trials

Benefits

  • Participants play an active role in their own health care.
  • Gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available.
  • Obtain expert medical care at leading health care facilities during the trial.
  • Help others by contributing to medical research.

Risks

  • Unpleasant, serious or even life-threatening side effects to experimental treatment.
  • Experimental treatment may not be as effective as the participant may think.
  • Protocol may require more time and attention from the participant than would a non-protocol treatment, including trips to the study site, additional treatments, hospital stays and/or complex dosage requirements.
Hepatitis C Clinical Trial Goes Wrong

The bio-pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb sponsored clinical trials to study the efficacy of the potential breakthrough drug for Hepatitis C known as BMS-986094.

The details of the Hep C clinical trial and its aftermath:

  • Clinicaltrials.gov reports that there were 360 participants in the trial
  • 1 person died of sudden heart failure
  • 8 people were hospitalized due to heart and kidney damages – some of whom required transplants.
  • Participants from the Hep C trials are coming forward, and many of these cases are currently being filed or reviewed by Thomas J. Henry.
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