Clinical Trial Phases and Stages

When a new medication is developed, the process starts in a test tube and then progresses to animal studies. If the results of early studies look promising, clinical trials are conducted to test the medication. Medication trials are divided into phases. When phases I, II, and III are complete, the information from the trials are submitted to the FDA. The FDA reviews all the information, and they may approve, reject, or ask for additional new medication.

In order for any medication to be approved by the FDA and placed on the market, it must be tested on humans in clinical trials. Clinical Trials show if a medication is effective in treating and/or reducing symptoms and if it is safe. There are different kinds of medication trials. Some examples are: testing a single experimental medication, evaluating different combinations of approved medications, and examining a combination of approved and experimental medications.

There are many reasons to think about joining a clinical trial. When deciding whether or not a trial is right for you, consider some of the benefits and risks.

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