What is a Clinical Trial?

A clinical trial is a research study that explores the effects of a potential new treatment or medicine to help determine if it is safe and effective for humans. Clinical trials are how we learn to make a variety of treatments better. They help us get answers about causes, prevention, and cures. In fact, clinical trials are the only way new pharmaceuticals can be brought to market.
Typically, clinical trials compare a new product or therapy with another that already exists to determine if the new one is as successful as, or better than, the existing one. In some studies, participants may be assigned to receive a placebo (an inactive product that resembles the test product, but without its treatment value).

Clinical trials are conducted in “phases.” Each phase has a different purpose and answers different questions. For more information about clinical trials and their phases refer to our clinical trial information page.

Why Join a Clinical Trial?

Participating in a clinical trial is not for everyone. Healthy volunteers usually participate to help others and to help move science forward. For participants with an illness or disease, the clinical trial allows them to take advantage of the latest research developments, before new treatments are available to the general public and get additional care and attention from the clinical trial staff. Volunteers are needed to participate in clinical trials in the Connecticut area.