There is no substitute for the people who participate in clinical research. The information provided by volunteers can't be found under a microscope, in a test tube or even by using the most technologically advanced scientific instruments. Volunteers like you are the only way for medical breakthroughs to reach the public.
On a more personal level, why should you volunteer for a clinical study? There are many reasons:
- Some people have a condition that is being treated effectively but still want to assist in developing new treatments.
- Sometimes people have a friend or loved one with an illness or injury and they want to participate in a research study as a way of helping that person and others who may suffer from the same condition.
- It may be that there is no effective treatment for an illness or injury or the existing treatment has harsh side effects. Participating in a clinical trial may offer potential treatment options that might otherwise be unavailable.
- Many people choose to participate in a study even though it might not be able to help them directly. Knowing that others may be able to benefit from their efforts can be a rewarding experience.
- Sometimes people volunteer because they are compensated for their time and effort.
Each one of us benefits every day from clinical research. Your blood pressure medicine, your wife's breast cancer treatment, your son's asthma inhaler, the latest Alzheimer's drug that your mom is taking – all of these are available to you because of clinical studies that show they are safe and effective. None of them would be possible without volunteers who were willing to take part in clinical studies.
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You don't have to be sick to participate in clinical research. Many studies need healthy volunteers.