The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect how we approach healthcare and medicine, including clinical research trials. As always, safety is the top priority. Learn about how COVID-19 may change a current or future trial for you or your child.
Note: If you are already in a clinical trial, some of these changes may or may not apply to your specific trial.
How are clinical trials different during the COVID-19 pandemic?
COVID-19 has impacted clinical trials in different ways. If you or your child are already in a trial, your trial team will discuss any specific changes with you and will try to keep your current schedule the same as much as possible. You may notice some differences in trial visits, how you/your child receive study treatment, and trial communication.
Screenings for flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath
Requirements to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as a face mask or gloves
Requirements to practice social distancing in common areas
Questions about your recent contacts, travel, and overall health
No family or friends (except a caregiver, if applicable) allowed at the clinic
Will I be exposed to coronavirus?
Your trial team will take every precaution possible to protect study participants from coronavirus but cannot guarantee that participants will not be exposed. There are ways to limit exposure and risk for COVID-19, including washing hands frequently, not touching your face, not coughing or sneezing into your hand, and practicing social distancing when possible.
Clinical trials are conducted to test investigational medications as potential therapies for certain conditions. Trials help determine if investigational medications are safe to use and work to improve people's health. Before any medication can be approved and made available to the public, it must go through several phases of clinical research.
People participate in clinical trials for a variety of reasons. Some may participate (or have their child participate) because they want to learn more about their disease. Others participate because they want to help researchers learn more about a disease to potentially help others in the future.
Clinical trials follow a specific set of standards and are closely regulated to help ensure the safety of all participants.
You can ask questions of the trial team at any time before, during, and after the trial. Before agreeing to participate, make sure that you understand the responsibilities of trial participants. If you have any concerns about participating, you should feel comfortable discussing them with a member of the trial team at any time.
Trial participation is completely voluntary. You/your child do not need to take part in a trial, and you can end participation at any time, for any reason. If you think you/your child would like to stop participating in a trial, talk to the trial doctor. If you decide you/your child should leave a trial early, the trial doctor may ask that you return to the trial clinic for a final visit to ensure health and safety, but there will be no negative impact on your/your child’s care.
You can visit any doctor to meet your/your child’s health needs during the trial. You should let your trial doctor know that you/your child will be seeing another doctor and if any other medication has been prescribed. You should also let your other doctors know that you/your child are/is participating in a clinical trial.