1. Is it safe to participate in a clinical study?
There is always some risk involved when taking medicine or using a medical device – even common ‘over-the-counter’ medicines like paracetamol have potential side effects.
At Optimal, we only conduct clinical trials with medications that have already been tested for initial safety elsewhere.
We also monitor all our clinical trial participants closely to check that the study medication is well tolerated.
2. How much time is involved in a clinical trial?
Clinical trials run for varying durations. Typically, most will run for six-to-12 months, whilst others may run for several years.
Most involve visits to our research clinic of one-to-two hours each time – sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. Because every clinical trial is different, visits may be every week, every month, or even every three months.
3. I have an existing condition; can a clinical trial benefit me?
If you have an existing medical condition and volunteer for research relating to that condition you may:
- Learn more about your condition
- Potentially gain access to new and potentially better medications at no cost
- Receive free regular check-ups which may include physical examinations, blood tests, breathing tests, ECGs, etc.
- Receive advice on diet, exercise and managing your medications
- Potentially enjoy improvement in the treatment of your condition
- Contribute to overall research and medical improvements in that area
4. I want more details on the clinical study, where can I read those?
When you express interest in participating in a trial, and we think you may be eligible, you will be given a study information sheet. This will explain what is involved and can better prepare you for any questions you may have regarding the trial.
5. What if I change my mind and no longer want to participate?
Participation in any clinical trial is completely your choice from beginning to end. If at any stage you wish to withdraw from the trial, you can do so without it affecting your ongoing healthcare.
6. Will my medical information remain private?
Yes! Your privacy is of the utmost importance. Your medical information will be kept strictly confidential. The data we collect gets de-identified and analysed but your personal information is closely guarded.
7. I’ve decided I want to volunteer, what happens now?
If we think you may be eligible for a trial you will be given a study information sheet that explains what is involved. Usually you will be emailed this before your first visit so you can read it over and note down any questions you may have. Some studies may have a video you can watch to help you with understanding the information in the sheet.
At your first appointment, called a screening visit, you will have the opportunity to ask one of our doctors any questions you may have about the trial. Once you and the doctor feel comfortable that you fully understand the details of the trial, you will sign the form to confirm your participation.
Participation in any clinical trials is completely your choice and you may withdraw at any time without affecting your ongoing healthcare.