Advantages and disadvantages of participating in clinical trials

Possible benefits to participants:

  • Gain access to new and possibly effective treatments or medicine available only to those participating in the trial
  • Gain focused health care for a particular disease or health condition
  • Learn more about your disease or health condition
  • Have the chance to help society and other people with your disease or health condition by contributing to medical research
  • Getting paid, in some cases

Possible disadvantages to participants:

  • You may have more health visits than you would have with your regular personal doctor
  • You may spend more money than usual for traveling for the visits, special medicines and medical tests that are not covered by your health insurance
  • The study treatment or medicine may not make you feel better
  • In rare cases, there may be negative, or serious side effects from the study treatments and/or medicines

Benefits to science and future health care:

  • Contribute to the development of new medicines and treatment guidelines
  • Contribute to the discovery of ways to prevent or cure diseases or health conditions
  • Improve the way doctors, nurses and other health professionals are trained
  • Influence health laws and funding for health services