If you suffer from a disease or condition, you may be asked to volunteer to be included in a medical research study for new medications or procedures. Deciding to participate in a study is not something that should be taken lightly. There are a variety of questions that should be asked beforehand, along with doing your own research before applying to be a candidate in a research study.
Many patients that volunteer for these types of research studies have a disease or condition that has not been eliminated by the normally prescribed medications for that specific disease. They become desperate to find a medication that will allow them to live a normal lifestyle and help them feel better. Many times it pays off, yet other times they are in the group that is chosen to receive a placebo drug instead, and will not have any positive or negative effects from the study trials.
Most studies give half of the volunteers the actual medication that the research is being done on, and the other half of the group receives a placebo drug. After the required amount of time, both groups are asked to list any side effects they felt they had because of the new medication. Most times the volunteers are not told whether they received the medication or a placebo until after the study is finished. Data is collected and the outcome of both groups is entered in the research information.
Helping others that suffer from the same condition or disease is another reason many people will agree to participate in a new drug research study. The need to be part of a team that is trying to find a new drug that will eliminate the side effects of the disease prompt many to volunteer.
The decision to participate in a research study should be thought out and not made in a hasty way. Volunteers are allowed to ask questions, so don’t be afraid to ask if you have concerns about the side effects or risks that you may encounter.