What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are one form of medical research conducted at the VA Hospitals nation wide and involve research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans.  These studies also may show which medical approaches work best for certain illnesses or groups of people.  Clinical trials produce the best data available for healthcare decision making.

The purpose of clinical trials is research, so the studies follow strict scientific standards.  These standards protect patients and help produce reliable study results.  Clinical trials are one of the final stages of a long and careful research process.  The process often begins in a laboratory where scientists first develop and test new ideas.



Why are Clinical trials important?

Clinical Trials are a key research tool for advancing medical knowledge and patient care.  Clinical research is done only if doctors don’t know:

  • Whether a new approach works well in people and is safe and
  • Which treatments or strategies work best for certain illnesses or groups of people.

Clinical Trials help improve and advance medical care.  They also can help health care decision maker’s direct resources to the strategies and treatments that work best.

How can I participate?

If you have a medical condition you would like to find alternative treatment for (in the form of a new drug or dietary change) you can contact the Foundation for Advancing Veterans Health Research and sign up, either as a healthy participant or for an upcoming trials in a specific disease state.

Your information will be passed on to the appropriate coordinator and you will be contacted if a study exists in which you may qualify to participate.

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