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Myths About Clinical Trials - Lets Clarify!
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Myths About Clinical Trials  -  Lets Clarify!

Fact or fiction? Often we are afraid of what we don’t understand. Right? I know before I took part in a clinical trial I didn’t know what they were all about and I was a nurse! So I want to share with you some of the myths that keep folks from shying away. “There is nothing to fear but fear itself!”

Myth: It’s not safe, I’ll just be a guinea pig!

Fact: You are not the guinea pig. Actually you are a highly respected individual who you will find the researchers and medical team huddle around to make sure you have very consistent, professional care. Drugs only come to use in humans when researchers have completed many safety tests/trials with animals.

Myth: I won’t get the best treatment if I participate in a clinical trial.

Fact: Research teams are always looking for ways to find a better treatment. The design you’ll find is one group will receive The Gold Standard Treatment. Another group will receive the known treatment plus something new - a new combination is tested. The process of deciding who will get which treatments is known as randomization. Patients understand there are still no guarantees with any one treatment. Therefore, many are willing to try something new hoping to find that is will be of greater benefit.

Myth: If I’m on a trial that must mean I am dying.

Fact: Volunteering for a trial does not mean you are dying. For most participants being on a trial is being part of a group who is working at fine tuning treatments and or diagnostics. We are looking for combinations of drugs that work even better than what we have. We are looking at blood tests, tissue tests, MRI’s etc that will help us individualize treatment plans. These participants are very much alive and with good prognosis. They want to see more effective, less expensive, less time consuming treatments found!

Myth: Insurance won’t pay for Clinical Trials.

Fact: Insurance will pay for all currently excepted standard treatments, tests, and doctors care.

The sponsors of the clinical trials pay for the drug, blood or tissue being tested. If the trial is testing a new type of diagnostic machine they will usually pay for that. It is always best to talk with your insurance company and be clear about what they will pay for.

Myth: Medicare does not participate in Clinical Trials.

Fact: Medicare will pay for portions of your care in clinical trials. Be sure to discuss the Clinical Trial with Medicare to be sure you understand what they will cover.

Myth: I might be given a placebo in a clinical trial.

Fact: For cancer treatments placebo is NOT used. All treatments are standard treatments, standard treatments and new drug, or just new drug, depending on what phase you are involved in. Placebos can be used in trials for people without cancer. Placebo can be used in trials for symptom management - such as vitamin supplement or placebo.

A good rule to follow always - when in doubt, ask! Don’t rely on myth. Don’t let fear keep you from taking part in the good things in life. Facing fear is one of the bravest things any of us can do, and always remember - you are not alone!


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