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Clinical Trials: What Patients Need to Know

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Learn more about clinical trials and find a trial that might be right for you. Clinical trials are voluntary research studies conducted in people and designed to answer specific questions about the safety or effectiveness of drugs, vaccines, other therapies, or new ways of using existing treatments. It is important to remember that the FDA does not conduct Clinical Trials.

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Learn More About Clinical Trials

  • Clinical Research Versus Medical Treatment
    Understand the differences between clinical research and medical treatment and what those differences mean for you. Find answers to your questions about clinical trials, such as why they are done, who should consider participating, and issues to consider before joining a trial.

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  • What are the Different Types of Clinical Research
    Understand the different types of research and the four clinical trial phases, such as their purpose and how many people participate in each of the phases.

  • Informed Consent for Clinical Trials
    Understand what informed consent is and the questions you need to know before signing informed consent.

  • Diversity in Clinical Trial Participation
    It is important to test drugs and medical products in the people they are meant to help. Learn about FDASIA 907 and how FDA works to make sure that people of different ages, races, ethnic groups, and genders are included in clinical trials.

  • What is an Institutional Review Board
    Understand what Institutional Review Boards are, who is on them and who they protect. 

  • Sexual and Gender Minorities
    The NIH Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO) coordinates sexual and gender minority (SGM)--related research and activities by working directly with the NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices. The office was officially established in September 2015 within the NIH Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI).



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