Did you know that it takes an average of 12 years for a prescription drug to make it from beginning – an experiment in a laboratory – to its final destination, your pharmacy shelf? Before a new drug can be approved for human use, it must first be tested in years of preclinical and clinical research studies to make sure it does what it’s supposed to do in the human body and does more good than harm. A clinical trial (or clinical research study) is the final phase of research that is done on a drug to prove its safety and effectiveness before it is submitted for approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
You can participate in a clinical trial as a healthy volunteer or as a person seeking to receive a treatment that is not yet available to the public. If you have kidney disease, you might be interested in participating in a clinical trial to gain access to new treatments for the complications of kidney disease, such as anemia and bone disease, for example. But how do you find one?
Websites such as ClinicalTrials.gov allow patients and families to search for clinical trials in which they may be interested in participating. The American Kidney Fund has partnered with Antidote to help you more easily find clinical trials that may be of interest to you. In the search field below, type in the condition for which you are seeking treatment and answer the follow-up questions to find a list of clinical trials for which you may be eligible. If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, be sure to talk to your doctor about finding one that is right for you.
It is important to remember that not everyone is eligible to participate in every clinical trial. Researchers often look for patients who meet a very specific set of eligibility criteria. If you are not eligible for trials you find listed here today, don’t be discouraged. New trials begin all the time. It’s also important to know that not all research studies are done with the goal of finding a cure. Rather, many are done to improve upon existing treatments or, for example, to find another treatment option for patients who experience significant side effects with the treatments that are currently available.