Each year many researchers recruit willing volunteers to participate in new and upcoming medical treatments, devices and drugs. These studies aim to find new ways to help people with common or even unusual problems. If you are looking at joining a dermatology clinical trial you may either be after financial compensation to get benefits on a condition of your own. In the article below we will explore how you can find and apply for a dermatology clinical trial.
Where to start
There are many websites online that offer enrolment in a dermatology clinical trial. Think of these websites as a dermatology clinical trial directory. All of them that are going on in your area will be displayed here and offer you the chance to choose which one is the best suit for you.
Additionally, you can also look at all the other studies that are going on as well. If not, stick with your chosen field and apply anyway. If none are running at the time period in which you are looking – try talking to friends and family. Ask if they have done something similar in the past and how it went. Also ask questions about how they found the study and the steps that they had to take to enroll.
Questions you should be asking
If you do find a dermatology clinical trial that interests you, you should feel more than comfortable to ask a few questions before you dive straight into it. If you are struggling with what to ask, below are some helpful questions:
- What do you intend to find from this study?
- Is there anyone else who will be in the study?
- What basis do the conductors of the study deem the new product to be successful?
- What kinds and how many tests are involved in this study?
- What are the possible risks and side effects?
- How do the risks and side effects compare to my current treatment plan?
- How might the study alter my day to day?
- What is the estimated completion time of the study?
- Will I be required to go to hospital?
- Who is funding the study?
- Will I be reimbursed for any of my expenses?
- Are there any long term care options after the completion of the study?
- When will I know if I received the placebo?
- Who is the sole contact for my care?
Run-down of a dermatology clinical trial
Dermatology clinical trials are usually carried out in 4 stages. Below is a brief description of each.
A small group of people is given the experimental treatment. At first, the people running the study will analyze the group and decide which is the best method of administering the treatment; dosage amount, potential side effects, etc.
The drug is then given to a larger group of people to test the effectiveness of it and further develop the appropriate safety measures. There may or may not be a control group at this point depending on who is running the study. Control groups are used to compare results to other treatments, placebos and no treatments at all.
At this stage, the researchers give the treatment to an even bigger group of people to confirm their hypothesis about the effectiveness and monitor the side effects of the new treatment. There are usually control groups during this stage of the study. People will be randomly assigned to either group and won’t be told till a later date.
The final stage is post-study where the researchers have gotten approval. The post studies aim to gather information about the risks, benefits and the optimal use of the treatment in a large population.