What is a clinical trial?

Clinical trials test potential new medicines to see:

  • If the medicine works
  • If there are safety concerns
  • What the side effects are

Strict rules about how to run a clinical trial were put in place to protect the rights, safety, privacy, and well-being of trial volunteers.

Every clinical trial has a plan, also known as a protocol. The plan outlines the details of the trial, including which people may enrol, how long the trial will take, and how the results will be measured. Before the trial can start, an independent ethics committee and the local government’s health authorities must approve this plan.

Keep in mind, clinical trials will only take place if:

  • There is a scientific and medical reason for the trial
  • There are more benefits than risks for the trial volunteers

Find out more about what it may be like to participate in a clinical trial