Why Participate in a Clinical Trial?
Different people have different reasons as to why they would volunteer to be part of a clinical trial. Healthy people enjoy the opportunity to help other people diagnosed with psoriasis. Some may want to have access to the latest drugs before they become available to the general population.
In some cases, they feel excited about playing a role, and would like to understand how a treatment is discovered or how a condition can be prevented. Some want to take a proactive role in their own health and decide to participate in a study. The subjects of a study will receive free medical examinations, various tests and treatment, as they relate to the study. Finally, others will consider the compensation for being involved in the study. Ask yourself what your reasons are.
Each study has specific eligibility requirements, and participants have to meet certain standards that investigators called ‘inclusion criteria’. The researchers will set another list called ‘exclusion criteria’ which will exclude you as a potential subject in the study. The inclusion and exclusion criteria are typically related to the age, gender, the type of psoriasis you have (i.e. affecting the skin only, or psoriatic arthritis, etc.), co-existing medical conditions (i.e. diseases like high blood pressure or other skin diseases) or if you had been recently involved in another clinical study.
If You Aren’t Eligible
If the investigators conclude that you are unable to participate in a study, there is another option approved by the FDA: Expanded Access.
The manufacturer of the new experimental drug may allow you, under certain circumstances, to receive the treatment. The main purpose of Expanded Access is to help patients gain access to a drug, rather than collecting and analyzing data, as in a clinical trial.
To learn if a drug or treatment may be available to you though the Expanded Access program, see ClinicalTrials.gov for details. If you can’t find the right information, use the contact information number, call and ask a question. Alternatively, you or your doctor can directly contact the manufacturer or the drug and ask if Expanded Access if available.
Most in-progress clinical trials are available at ClinicalTrials.gov.
You can also get a free subscription to Researchmatch.com, a site that connects people trying to find research studies and investigators who need participants for their studies. This website was developed by academic and research institutions from United States who want to help you get involved in a study, and potentially help future generations.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), Clinicalstudies.info.nih.gov also has a website, an online database for research studies that are conducted at its Clinical Center in Maryland, US.