handshake with a doctorIf you are thinking of joining a clinical trial, then you are likely eager to help others suffering from disease find the new treatments or cures they have been seeking or find a new treatment for a health problem you currently have. You may have already learned about what will occur during the clinical trial you are considering joining. However, you may now have many questions about what will happen after the clinical trial.

Read on to learn to learn about some of the steps that typically occur after a clinical trial ends.

You Will Perform an Exit Interview

While you will communicate with researchers throughout the entire clinical trial process, you will complete one last exit interview when the clinical trial ends. While you will share general information about how you feel during the clinical trial process and how your disease is responding to treatment (if applicable), the exit interview will give you a chance to report any information that you forgot to share with researchers during this time period. You’ll also be able to how you felt during the process.

In addition, if you participated in a clinical trial that had a control group that was administered a placebo, you will finally get to find out if you took the medication being studied or were part of the control group that received the placebo.

You May Be Asked to Participate in the Next Phase of the Trial

There are several clinical trial stages, and unless you are currently participating in a phase-four clinical trial, which is the last phase of a clinical trial, you may be asked to participate in the next phase of the trial.

During phase one, a medication is tested to determine which dosages people can tolerate without producing too many unwanted side effects. During phase two clinical trials, the medication is tested to see if it is effective in treating the disease it has been designed to treat.

During phase three, which is an exciting phase in clinical trials, because only about 33 percent of all medications move onto this phase, researchers will compare the treatment to an existing treatment for the specific disease it is designed to treat to see if it is more efficient at controlling the disease.

During phase four, which occurs only after a medication is FDA approved, the treatment will be continuously evaluated for safety and efficiency.

You May Be Offered Continued Access to the Medication

If you are suffering from a medical condition that the medication being tested in the clinical trial was designed to treat, you are hopeful that it will turn out to be a great treatment option for you. However, you may wonder what would happen if the medication helps your condition, yet you opt to not participate in further clinical trials.

The good news is that the conductors of clinical trials often offer further access to the medication that being tested to those whose health conditions greatly improved during the clinical trial process, whether they are invited or opt to participate in further phases of the clinical trial or not.

Your Private Information Will Be Protected by HIPAA Laws

When you enroll in a clinical trial, you will sign an informed consent document that informs you of what personal information is collected during the study and who has access to it. However, you can be sure that your full name is protected. This keeps your personal health information protected, and you will never have to worry about your name being published in any medical journals, FDA documents, or other medical materials after the trial ends.

If you are thinking of participating in a clinical trial, then realize you are taking a great step to help advance modern medicine and possibly help yourself. If you have any more questions about what will occur after you participate in a clinical trial, contact the clinical trial conductor.

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