14 Frequently Asked Questions about Clinical Trials

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7. How is privacy protected in a clinical trial?

People who participate in a clinical trial are anonymous except to the professionals conducting the trial. The professionals are not allowed to reveal the identities of trial participants to anyone who is not involved in the study. Personal information that is collected during the trial has to be protected, for example, in locked file drawers or in password-protected computers.

8. Can participants leave a clinical trial once it has started?

It is the right of the participant to leave a clinical trial for any reason at any time. If a participant is receiving a treatment, it is important to consult with a physician to make sure it is safe to stop the treatment. They may need help tapering off the treatment or replacing it with a different treatment.

9. What happens when the trial ends?

After the trial ends, the investigators will begin to analyze the data collected during the trial. They will write up reports about what they found and submit them to a treatment approving agency, such as the FDA. The agency will make decisions about whether the treatment will move further into other trials, or whether it will be approved. Read more about what happens when a clinical trials ends.
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