Taking Medicines

Frequently Asked Questions

24. Are there risks involved in participating in clinical trials?

Enrolling in a clinical trial offers benefits and risks. Patients who participate in a clinical trial may get therapies not yet available to most patients. As with any medical treatment, clinical trials pose risks. However, scientists who wish to test drugs in people must follow strict rules that are designed to protect patient volunteers.

Special groups called Institutional Review Boards, or IRBs, evaluate all proposed research that involves human subjects to make sure the expected benefits outweigh the potential risks.