The closest you may have ever come to a clinical study is seeing an advertisement in your local newspaper or city magazine that reads, "Do you have insomnia? Get free drugs by volunteering to be studied!" But there are many more opportunities than that. Whether you're undergoing laser vision correction or open-heart surgery or shopping for an arthritis pain medication or insulin, there is likely a clinical study being conducted that's relevant to you.
The advantage of participating in a study is that you may get access to a new and improved treatment—which can be a lifesaver in some cases—and you'll also be ensured of receiving very meticulous care. There may also be a big cost savings.
The disadvantages? The drug or treatment being tested on you might flunk, or you might be in the group receiving the placebo (the fake drug or treatment). There's still the warm and fuzzy feeling of donating the services of your body to science while you're still breathing, however. You're helping doctors develop new and better treatments and likely even helping to save lives.
Find out more about this book:YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment