Medical Research -- The Basics
A medical research study, or clinical trial, is an organized way for medical researchers to find out more about a certain medicine, vaccine, or other type of treatment. The results of the study are used to answer important questions about the treatment, such as,
- Is it safe?
- Is it effective?
- And what are the possible side effects?
Medical research studies are designed to test different products and ideas in an organized way, so the information learned will be accurate. Research studies also follow rules designed to keep patients safe from harm.
Through research studies we've learned the answers to many questions. We've learned, for example, that taking aspirin is good if you're having a heart attack, and that having a mammogram can help discover breast cancer.
Medical research involves uncertainties and may have risks. But, when conducted properly, research studies are the safest and most effective way to help us develop better treatments for many of the diseases and medical conditions that exist.