What's a clinical research study

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Clinical studies--what are they?

Clinical study. Clinical trial. Clinical protocol. They all mean the same thing--a scientific study of how a new medicine or treatment works in people. Through clinical studies, doctors find new and better ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, control, and treat illnesses.

Many new medicines and treatments are found to be helpful and safe in test tubes and in animals. They must also prove safe and effective in humans before doctors can prescribe them. This testing in humans is permitted only if that person volunteers for participation and understands the risks and benefits of taking part in a study. This informed consent to participate must be based on the volunteer's understanding of what is involved in the study, including potential risks and benefits. Volunteers may leave a study at any time.

This is a collection of clinical studies being conducted by the National Institutes of Health at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. If you have any questions about participating in a clinical study here, please contact the Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office, Phone: 1-800-411-1222, TTY 1-866-411-1010.

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