Home Forums Other Specialities General Topics CLINICAL STUDIES- THE BASICS-PART2.

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    Anonymous
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    Who Can Participate in a Clinical Study?

    Clinical studies have standards outlining who can participate, called eligibility criteria, which are listed in the protocol. Some research studies seek participants who have the illnesses or conditions that will be studied, other studies are looking for healthy participants, and some studies are limited to a predetermined group of people who are asked by researchers to enroll.

    Eligibility.

    The factors that allow someone to participate in a clinical study are called inclusion criteria, and the factors that disqualify someone from participating are called exclusion criteria. These are based on things such as age, gender, the type and stage of a disease, previous treatment history, and other medical conditions.

    How Are Participants Protected?

    Informed consent is a process in which researchers provide potential and enrolled participants with information about a clinical study. This information helps people decide whether they want to enroll or continue to participate in the study.

    The informed consent process is intended to protect participants and should provide enough information for a person to understand the risks of, potential benefits of, and alternatives to the study. In addition to the informed consent document, the process may involve recruitment materials, verbal instructions, question-and-answer sessions, and activities to measure participant understanding.

    In general, a person must sign an informed consent document before joining a study to show that he or she was given information on risks, potential benefits, and alternatives and understands it.
    Signing the document and providing consent is not a contract. Participants may withdraw from a study at any time, even if the study is not over. See the Questions to Ask section on this page for questions to ask a health care provider or researcher about participating in a clinical study.

    Institutional review boards.
    Each federally supported or conducted clinical study and each study of a drug, biological product, or medical device regulated by the FDA must be reviewed, approved, and monitored by an institutional review board (IRB).

    An IRB is made up of physicians, researchers, and members of the community. Its role is to make sure that the study is ethical and that the rights and welfare of participants are protected. This includes making sure that research risks are minimized and are reasonable in relation to any potential benefits, among other things. The IRB also reviews the informed consent document.
    In addition to being monitored by an IRB, some clinical studies are also monitored by data monitoring committees (also called data safety and monitoring boards).
    Various Federal agencies, including the Office of Human Subjects Research Protection and the FDA, have the authority to determine whether sponsors of certain clinical studies are adequately protecting research participants.

    The UK and European models are similar to the above.

    To be continued.

    G.MOHAN.

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