Not sure if volunteering in a clinical trial is right for you? We understand. And we want to make sure you’re 100% comfortable.
Here are some quick answers to the questions we hear most often from incoming volunteers. You may also find more in-depth answers to these and other questions throughout the site.
If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.
What is a clinical trial?
Why are clinical trials necessary?
Do I qualify to participate in a clinical trial?
What clinical trials do you have available?
Why should I participate?
What are my rights as a research participant?
Do I have to have medical insurance to participate?
Are clinical trials safe?
Where can I learn more about clinical trials?
What educational resources can you recommend?
Q: What is a clinical trial?
A: Clinical trials are designed to test and study the safety and effectiveness of investigational medications or treatments.
Q: Why are clinical trials necessary?
A: Clinical trials are an essential part of making sure the drugs and medical treatments we all use are safe and effective, compared to a placebo or to existing therapies. We conduct trials to predict how well a medication or therapy will perform in the general population when used to treat a certain condition. Drugs and other therapeutic treatments cannot be released for public consumption without FDA approval. Clinical trials provide the evidence to demonstrate their safety and efficacy to the FDA.
Q: Do I qualify to participate in a clinical trial?
A: Not everyone who wants to join a given research study will qualify. There are often extremely specific criteria for meeting the qualifications of a clinical trial. Our staff will ask a series of questions in a pre-screening interview. Sometimes, a second screening will take place to make sure you meet all of the qualifications for the trial.
If you don’t get accepted into one clinical trial, we encourage you to apply again. We have many studies going on at all times. Keep watching for new ones you might be interested in!
Q. What clinical trials do you have available?
A: Search our locations page for studies being conducted at a site near you. Be sure to check back often, as the list is constantly being updated with new volunteer opportunities.
Q: Why should I participate?
A: There are many benefits. You’ll be taking a proactive role in your own health care. You’ll receive free medical screenings and medication. You’ll gain access to cutting-edge research treatments before they are available to the general public. On a broader level, your participation in a clinical trial helps others by contributing to the development of treatments that can alleviate suffering and even save lives.
Q: What are my rights as a research participant?
A: As a research participant, you have the right to accurate and timely information about the study and the right to ask questions at any time and have them answered promptly. You also have the right to drop out of a study at any time.
Q: Do I have to have medical insurance to participate?
A: No. These studies have nothing to do with insurance – either private or government-provided. You will receive study-related medical examinations and study-related medication at no cost. Eligible participants may receive compensation for their time and travel.
Q: Are clinical trials safe?
A: Our number one priority is the safety of all trial participants. You will be under close supervision by medical professionals during the study. That said, some participants could have an adverse reaction to the drug or therapy that is being examined, potentially requiring hospitalization or other medical intervention. There is also the risk of experiencing side effects, which can range from mild to severe. On the other hand, there are many benefits, such as improvement of your medical condition through access to new treatments and therapies that can ultimately help both you and others. You’ll also receive no-cost medical care and attention by highly trained medical professionals, and possible compensation as well.
Q: Where can I learn more about clinical trials?
A: Our priority here is educating you as a potential participant in Carolina Institute for Clinical Research studies.
But of course there are a number of independent resources that explain what they are and why they are important. For example:
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Centerwatch – A global source for clinical trial information
- Clinical Connection – A leading web-based service for clinical trial notifications and information ClinicalTrials.gov — Find trials for specific medical conditions
Q: What educational resources can you recommend?
A: Here’s a general list. Don’t see your issue covered? You can always contact us with specific questions on any topic related to a health condition or specific clinical trial – or to suggest an educational resource to add to our list.
Medication, supplies and equipment
Trouble affording your medication, medical supplies or equipment?
Assistance programs exist to help those in need. Learn more about them by exploring the links below:
- NeedyMeds.org – A national non-profit organization that offers free information on assistance programs for medications and healthcare costs.
- RxAssist.org – A web-based database of patient assistance programs.
- RX Outreach – A non-profit mail-order pharmacy whose mission is to provide affordable medications.
General Medical and Health Information
- MayoClinic.com – health resources and medical information from the Mayo Clinic
- National Institutes of Health – health information from the Nation’s medical research agency
- Web MD – Information for better health
- American Heart Association – heart health and disease information
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention – heart disease resources
- Celiac.org – Celiac Disease Foundation
- American Diabetes Association – comprehensive diabetes information
- American Heart Association – general information
- Women and Diabetes – US Food and Drug Administration
High Blood Pressure
- American Heart Association – general information
- DASH Eating Plan – guide to lowering your blood pressure with the DASH eating plan
- National Heart Lung & Blood Institute – risk factors, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, links
Gastrointestinal Issues (GERD, Ulcers, IBS, Constipation)
- The American College of Gastroenterology – Up-to-date information and downloadable brochures
- International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders – GERD resources
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome Self Help and Support Group – community for IBS sufferers