Benefits and risks of participating in a clinical trial


Clinical trials that are well-designed and well-executed offer excellent opportunities for eligible participants to:
• Play an active role in their own health care.
• Obtain referrals to a study site.
• Engage care partners as companions in care.
• Gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available.
• Obtain expert medical, sometimes multidisciplinary, care at leading health care facilities during the trial.
• Help others by contributing to medical research.
• Enhance personal knowledge of a medical condition.


There are risks to clinical trials.
• Depending on the study design, there may be no guarantee that the participant will receive the active ingredient.
• There may be unpleasant, serious or even life-threatening side effects to experimental treatment.
• The experimental treatment may not be effective for the participant.
• The research may require collection of data, for example, genetic information, that could potentially cause psychological or informational harm.
• The research criteria may require lifestyle modifications, for example, dietary changes.
• The protocol may require more of the participant’s time and attention than would a non-protocol treatment, including trips to the study site, more treatments, hospital stays or complex dosage requirements.
• The experimental drug may not be approved by Health Canada and, if approved, may not be covered under provincial drug formularies.

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All material related to Parkinson's disease contained in Parkinson Post is solely for the information of the reader. It should not be used for treatment purposes. Specific articles reflect the opinion of the writer and are not necessarily the opinion of PSC.

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