Clinical research studies go on every day all around the world. But many studies or trials are under-enrolled and difficult to fill. A recent study conducted by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development involving 150 clinical trials and nearly 16,000 study sites found that 11% of sites fail to enroll even one patient and 37% do not meet their enrollment goals. Why aren’t centers like Meridien Research getting the volunteers we need?
1. You just don’t know about them
The best place to find out about clinical trials should be from the physician who is treating your condition. However, many doctors are not aware of them either or don’t have the time (or take the time) to learn about medical research studies and then discuss them with their patients. If you are looking for a trial for a specific condition, always check the Meridien Research website first (half joking) and if there isn’t a study for you, do a Google search with “your condition + research study” or visit www.clinicaltrials.gov for the official list of trials running in the United States.
3. You don’t think you could afford it
Volunteers rarely have to pay any costs to participate in a study. All of the costs of the medications or treatments, appointments, exams, etc. are usually covered by the sponsoring organization. Some trials will even pay you to participate! If there are costs not covered by the sponsors, these are usually routine care costs that would be done even if you were not in the trial, and, therefore, are likely covered by insurance.
3. You’re not sure it’s safe
Yes, there are risks associated with participation in a research study, such as side effects or ineffectiveness. But, laws require every clinical investigator to safeguard participants through strict rules regarding study plans or protocols and patient monitoring. The Institutional Review Board (IRB), made up of doctors, scientists, and citizens, must approve every single clinical trial in the United States and make sure that the risks are as low as possible. Additionally, many trials are closely supervised by a Data and Safety Monitoring Committee made up of experts who monitor studies as they are in progress. Plus, if you are taking part in a Phase III study, you are trying a new treatment that is not available anywhere else, and that has been tested several times already.
4. You don’t want to feel like a “guinea pig”
In addition to all of the safety standards described above, all clinics have a thorough informed consent process that will ensure you know exactly what the trial is about, what is expected of you, what your rights are, and will give you the chance to ask questions so that you are completely comfortable and confident in your decision to participate. If not, you can elect at any time to stop participating.
Per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “groundbreaking scientific advances in the present and the past were possible only because of participation of volunteers, both healthy and those with an illness, in clinical research…As research opens new doors to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure disease and disability, clinical trial participation is essential to help us find the answers.”
Meridien Research conducts a variety of clinical research studies at our six Central Florida clinics and needs YOU! For more information or to see if you or someone you know may qualify to participate, please contact us today at 1-888-777-8839 or visit NewStudyInfo.com.