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Below are frequently asked questions about clinical trials. We are more than happy to answer your questions directly. Please call us at 361-574-7800, or email us.

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About Clinical Trials

What are clinical trials?
A clinical trial is a research study involving human volunteers to answer specific health questions. Carefully conducted clinical trials are the safest and fastest way to find treatments that work in people and new ways to improve health. Clinical trials are conducted according to a plan called a protocol. A protocol describes what types of patients may enter the study, schedules of tests and procedures, drugs, dosages, and length of study, as well as outcomes that will be measured.
Why are clinical trials conducted?
The purpose of a clinical trial is to see if a new drug or device is safe and effective for people to use. There are different types of clinical trials including those to compare existing treatments to determine which is better and those to study different ways to use standard (approved) treatments so they will become more effective.
How are my rights protected?
In order to protect the rights and welfare of clinical research participants, U.S. Federal Agencies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) oversee much of the medical research in the United States. Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) oversee the centers where clinical research studies are conducted. IRBs review and approve study protocols to ensure that a clinical trial is ethical and that volunteers' rights are protected.
What are the possible benefits and risks of my participation?
Some participants may find that there are no real benefits to participating; however, there are numerous things that patients may receive as a result of participating. These things may include diagnostic testing, one-on-one physician assessments, study medication, and financial compensation. Every study is different therefore benefits may vary from study to study. All potential benefits of the study will be discussed with participants prior to entering the study. While great measures are taken to ensure that clinical trials are as safe as possible, there are always risks involved with medical procedures and study medications. All risks of participating in a study will be explained to participants prior to entering the study. Participants must understand and agree to these risks in order to participate. Participants may drop out of the study at any time.
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