Why More People Should Participate in Clinical Trials

Why More People Should Participate in Clinical Trials

The importance of clinical research for the advancement of medical knowledge, new treatments, and even cures cannot be overstated. Every year millions of people in the U.S. participate in clinical trials. Yet there still remains a lot of misunderstanding about what clinical trials are and why they’re so important. For more than 20 years, AAPRI’s Clinical Research Institute has been conducting clinical trials that aid in the advancement of scientific discovery for asthma, chronic cough, and more.

Without clinical trials, no drugs or vaccines would ever make it to market

Cheryl O’Neil, AAPRI’s clinical research site director
Cheryl O’Neil, Site Director for AAPRI Clinical Research

For some people, the words “clinical trial” evoke images of a sci-fi fantasy with human guinea pigs undergoing experimental treatments, but the reality is that clinical research is a safe, informative, and rewarding experience. According to Cheryl O’Neil, AAPRI’s clinical research site director, “It’s unfortunate that there’s a negative stigma about being involved in clinical research. Because we’re always in need of more volunteers, one of our main goals is educating patients so they can understand that being part of a clinical trial is safe and offers many benefits.” 

Cheryl says that the clinical trials associated with the various COVID-19 vaccines is one of the most recent and highly publicized examples of the value of participation in clinical trials. “If it weren’t for the thousands of people who volunteered for the clinical trials, there would be no Covid vaccine.” 

It’s a rigorous process that ensures safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) follows a strict approval process to ensure safety and efficacy of all new drugs and treatments. Clinical trials are an essential part of this process and there are several phases of clinical research, all with rigorous processes in place to ensure patient safety. “The simple fact is no drug or vaccine will ever get FDA approval without a clinical trial,” says Cheryl.

Why you should consider participating

When you choose to be part of a clinical trial, you’re making a profound contribution to society’s knowledge about the nature and progression of diseases, and how to treat them. Here are some other benefits:

  • You can help other people – Like donating blood helps to save lives, participating in a clinical trial is a vital part of treating diseases and chronic conditions and improving quality of life. We encourage you to learn more
  • You can gain access to new treatments – There are innovative solutions for asthma and allergies coming out all the time, but how can you access them? Through a clinical trial, you may receive new treatments at no cost to you. Participants report that clinical trials often help them gain a better understanding of how to manage their condition. 
  • You can receive free medical care – In addition to receiving the tested medication at no cost, clinical trial participants also gain access to free medical care during the trial. Our health care team is with you every step of the way. You can enjoy extra time, care, and attention through the clinical trial.

A Heroic Grandmother

Cheryl tells the story of a patient with asthma—a grandmother with four grandchildren, two of whom had severe asthma—who chose to participate in one of our clinical trials. “She told me, ‘I’m not doing this for myself, I’m looking to help future generations and my grandkids so they won’t have to be hospitalized all the time and go through what I did growing up.’” Participating in clinical trials can truly be heroic.

We’re here for you

If you have any questions about clinical trials at AAPRI, you can read about what to expect or you can also email Site Director Cheryl O’Neil directly. And as always, Dr. Z and our team of professionals are available to answer your questions, too.

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