Before a new skin medication hits the shelves at your local pharmacy, it has to go through a lengthy period of research and analysis. During this time, clinical studies are used to determine if the drug is safe and effective. Without these studies, medical advances in dermatology would be impossible, and they only work with the help of clinical research volunteers.
Participating in a dermatology clinical research study can be a rewarding experience – both for you and for the medical community at large. Before you sign up for one, though, it’s important to understand what it is you’re getting into.
What is dermatology clinical research?
Clinical research involves studies on everyday people, just like you. These people volunteer to take part in trials of new drugs before they’re available to the general public, helping medical professionals to evaluate their effectiveness and monitor potential side effects. Clinical trials are conducted with careful oversight and are regulated by the FDA.
What are the benefits of participating in a clinical trial?
If you’ve been searching for treatment for a skin condition, being a dermatology research volunteer might help you find the right medication. Some of the advantages to participating in a clinical trial include:
Early access to modern dermatology treatment
With early access to cutting-edge drugs, you get to try treatments before they’re available at the pharmacy.
Individualized care for your dermatology condition
At the same time, you’ll be under the care of a highly trained physician who will monitor your progress very closely. In almost every case, you will spend more time with healthcare professionals and have a closer review of your health status in a research study than in day-to-day medical care.
Helping others with similar dermatology ailments
In addition to your own treatment, you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you’re playing an important role in achieving medical advances and helping others to get the medication they need.
Cost of dermatology treatment
Let’s face it, health insurance and medical care is getting more and more expensive. It is, however, getting better and better with more and more new treatments available. Research studies typically cost nothing to the patient and usually even PAY the volunteer for their time and travel costs. Most trials do not require health insurance. Lastly, trials are conducted for new medications, competing medications AND generic products, SO participation often leads not only to new treatments but less expensive treatments too.
What are some of the risks of participating in a clinical trial?
As with any medical treatment, being a clinical trials volunteer comes with risks, including:
Potential side effects of dermatology treatments
All drugs are associated with side effects, but the medications used in clinical trials are still being researched. Therefore, it’s possible you may experience a side effect that has not yet been identified. Nothing will be hidden, however. You will be advised of all known risks before deciding to participate.
Ineffective treatment with clinical studies
Since the medications used in clinical studies haven’t yet been approved, you may not achieve desired results or see significant improvement of your condition. That’s why they call them trials.
Time investment in clinical research trials
Clinical research studies are only effective if the right data is collected from participants. Sometimes, this translates to you investing a bit more time into your treatment, in terms of visits to your doctor or paying careful attention to dosage requirements.
Is being a dermatology research study volunteer safe?
The vast majority of clinical research trials are federally regulated, and safeguards are built in to protect all participants. For example, all research studies for new medications require review by an ethics committee whose only role is to ensure the safety and rights of research volunteers are protected. You’ll always be kept up-to-date about all the details and facts relating to your trial. Being a clinical research volunteer allows you to play an active, informed role in your own healthcare. If you ever feel uncomfortable with your participation, you can withdraw at any time for any reason, or no reason at all.
Get access to the latest dermatologic therapy at CDCRI
At the California Dermatology and Clinical Research Institute, we conduct numerous clinical research studies for a wide array of dermatologic conditions. Whether you’re suffering from warts, psoriasis, eczema, or another skin issue, we can help you gain access to the latest cutting-edge treatments. Our comfortable office in the heart of Encinitas offers a friendly, laid-back environment, and our lead doctor has been practicing dermatology for over 20 years.
Our expertise, our dedication, and our accommodations make us the best choice for clinical research in San Diego. To participate in one of our clinical trials, call us at (760) 203-3839 or fill out the form on our contact page.