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What Are Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. These studies also may show which medical approaches work best for certain illnesses or groups of people. Clinical trials produce the best data available for health care decisionmaking.

The purpose of clinical trials is research, so the studies follow strict scientific standards. These standards protect patients and help produce reliable study results.


Why Are Clinical Trials Important?

Clinical trials are a key research tool for advancing medical knowledge and patient care. Clinical research is done only if doctors don't know whether a new approach works well in people and is safe and which treatments or strategies work best for certain illnesses or groups of people.

Some clinical trials show a positive result. For example, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) sponsored a trial of two different combinations of asthma treatments. The trial found that one of the combinations worked much better than the other for moderate persistent asthma. The results provided important treatment information for doctors and patients.

Clinical trials help improve and advance medical care. They also can help health care decisionmakers direct resources to the strategies and treatments that work best.


Learn More at the NIH Website




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