Clinical research volunteer
Everyone who takes part in a clinical trial is a volunteer, regardless of whether they are healthy or are suffering from the condition the trial aims to treat. Our volunteers enable us to assess a compound’s potential to become a new medicine. And they do more. Once a medicine has been approved for use we can, through further trials, continue to monitor its effect and obtain additional safety data.
Before each trial begins, we work with an independent ethics committee made up of lay people, medical professionals, scientists and investigators. This committee establishes an ‘informed consent’ process that gives potential volunteers a detailed picture of the study.
Those who take part in clinical trials must voluntarily confirm they are willing to participate, after being told about the study and its benefits and risks. The informed consent process involves more than just reading and signing a form. It is part of a wider process for communicating essential information about the trial, including:
- the trial’s purpose
- treatment procedures
- potential benefits and risks
- alternatives to participation (applies to patients with an existing condition – what other treatments are available if they do not want to take part in the trial)
- how confidentiality is maintained
- participants’ rights – including the right to end participation at any time