“Why should I consider a research study?” This is a question we hear a lot during patient visits.
Patients tend to show interest in research studies but are also very skeptical of the benefits and risks a clinical trial may offer. As part of the Texas Dermatology and Laser Specialists group, I’ve heard lots of questions regarding clinical trials.
My team focuses on the research department of the practice and we are all huge advocates for clinical research. We’ve seen the benefits it has on patients and the entire medical community.
So, when I am asked the question, “why should I consider a research study” I give them three main reasons:
1. You will have access to possible new treatment options at no cost
Clinical trials test new medications that are not widely available to the public.
Oftentimes, new treatments are very costly even with insurance coverage.
When you participate in a clinical research trial, you will have access to innovative medicines and treatments and see board-certified dermatologists at no cost to you. The bill is covered by the pharmaceutical company or entity that is sponsoring the investigation of the treatment or medicine.
Most clinical trials do not require you to have medical insurance and may even compensate you for your time and travel.
2. It’s 100% voluntary
There’s a huge misconception, in part due to media like films and books, that clinical trials are “experimenting” on people. This is simply not true.
Clinical trials assess the effectiveness and efficacy of a treatment on a certain population (i.e., eczema patients) and test if the medicine or treatment has the desirable outcome on them.
When you decide to join a clinical trial, the research team will sit down with you and go over the key facts of the study, its possible risks, benefits, and outcomes. They will also explain that your participation is completely voluntary, and you can stop your participation at any time. This process is also known as informed consent.
3. You’ll gain a better knowledge of your condition
As a volunteer, you will gain a better understanding of your condition, its symptoms, and options to manage it. Additionally, you will educate yourself about your own health and find better ways to become a healthier you.
Deciding to join a clinical trial is a very important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Researching about potential studies may give you a better understanding of what kind of trials are out there and its direct benefit to your overall health. If you or someone you love is considering joining a research trial, give us a call at (210) 829-5180 or visit our FAQs page.