The pros and cons of clinical trials | FluCamp

Some people worry that clinical trials are not safe, however they have rules and regulations in place to protect the volunteers and make sure the trials are conducted properly. The safety of the volunteer is a top priority, and researchers follow strict guidelines to minimise any risks. So, while there are risks in any medical study, clinical trials are carefully designed and closely monitored to ensure the safety of all volunteers.

In this guide, we will delve into the world of clinical trials, discussing both the pros and cons they bring. By the time you finish reading, we hope you will have a better understanding of clinical trials and be equipped to make informed decisions about becoming one of our volunteers. Find out more about FluCamp’s clinical trials.

What is a clinical trial?

A clinical trial is a scientific study that tests new medical treatments or methods to see if they are safe and work well. It involves volunteers who agree to take part in the research. Clinical trials help doctors and scientists learn more about different medicines and treatments before they are approved for everyone to use.

The pros of a clinical trial

They help improve treatments for people in the future

By volunteering in a clinical trial, you actively contribute to the advancement of medical knowledge and research. Your participation helps researchers gain insights into diseases, treatment methods, and prevention strategies, ultimately benefiting future patients.

Provide access to trials and medicine not out yet

Clinical trials often provide access to novel treatments, medications, or therapies that are not yet available to the general public. By volunteering, you have the opportunity to receive potentially groundbreaking interventions that could improve your health outcomes.

Close monitoring and care for all volunteers

During a clinical trial, volunteers receive regular and close monitoring from healthcare professionals, including nurses and doctors. This level of attention ensures that any changes in your health are closely observed and addressed promptly, potentially leading to more effective management of your condition.

Contributing to your community

By participating in a clinical trial, you have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the health and well-being of future generations. Your involvement helps researchers gather data and develop evidence-based treatments that can benefit a broader population.

Financial compensation

Clinical trials provide compensation for your time, effort, and any associated travel expenses. This compensation can be particularly beneficial as volunteering can provide an opportunity to earn income while contributing to medical research.

At FluCamp, we conduct a range of clinical trials that cover various viral illnesses. Our standard clinical trials focus on common cold, flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), COVID-19, and other viral infections in healthy individuals. Additionally, we also specialise in conducting clinical trials for the common cold specifically in asthmatic individuals through our asthma clinical trials research and development. These trials enable us to advance our understanding of these illnesses and contribute to the development of effective vaccines and treatments.

The cons of a clinical trial

Potential side effects

Clinical trials carry the possibility of risks or side effects due to the nature of testing new interventions. However, these risks are thoroughly assessed and mitigated through extensive preclinical studies, tests and rigorous safety evaluations to ensure volunteer safety.

Uncertain Outcomes

Clinical trials are designed to assess the efficacy and safety of interventions, and there is no guarantee of success. However, the uncertainty drives the need for rigorous evaluation, enabling researchers to identify effective treatments and avoid ineffective or potentially harmful interventions.

Time spent in quarantine

Clinical trials, particularly those involving infectious diseases, may require volunteers to undergo a period of quarantine to minimize the risk of outside exposure. While this can be seen as a potential inconvenience, it is a necessary precaution to protect the health of volunteers and ensure the accuracy of trial outcomes by minimizing external variables.

Regular health checks

Volunteers will often undergo regular health checks and tests to assess their well-being. While this may seem time-consuming, it provides a comprehensive evaluation of the volunteers’ health and enables researchers to closely monitor potential side effects or any changes.

Eligibility criteria

Certain eligibility criteria and logistical factors may limit access to clinical trials for some individuals. All clinical studies have strict inclusion and exclusion criteria, this is because the highest priority is always to ensure volunteer safety.

Despite these potential cons, clinical trials are an essential part of medical research and contribute significantly to healthcare advancement. The rigorous testing, careful monitoring, ethical considerations, and scientific principles ensure that clinical trials generate reliable data, support evidence-based medicine, and ultimately improve patient outcomes. To read more on whether clinical trials are safe, click here.

Are FluCamp clinical trials safe?

Our work at FluCamp adheres to the highest standards, ensuring the safety and well-being of our volunteers. All our medical trials involving investigational medicinal products are regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). This means that every trial undergoes rigorous review and approval by external bodies, including the Research Ethics Committee, as part of our quality management system.

To maintain compliance with relevant regulations and guidelines in the clinical trial industry and data handling, FluCamp operates a comprehensive quality management system. This system encompasses various regulations such as The Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations 2004, Good Clinical Practice (GCP), Human Tissue Act 2004, and Data Protection Act 2018. These regulations are overseen by external bodies to ensure our adherence.

Our Clinical Teams are held accountable to the same governing bodies as NHS staff, such as the General Medical Council (GMC) for physicians. This demonstrates our commitment to maintaining performance and standards aligned with the highest medical ethics. We conduct all our clinical trials in strict accordance with regulations and prioritize the utmost care for our volunteers.

What next?

In this guide, we explored the pros and cons of clinical trials, highlighting the thorough testing and evaluation process that ensures volunteer safety. If you are interested in volunteering in a paid clinical trial, visit FluCamp for more information or contact the team with any further queries you may have.

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Apply now and get up to £4,400 in compensation

An average clinical trial length is 11 – 14 days. To apply for FluCamp please complete our online form. We'll call you back within 24 hours to explain the next steps so you can decide if it's for you.