It’s important that drugs and medical treatments are safe and effective. Every FDA-approved medication, treatment or medical device available today has at some time been tested in a clinical trial (and often more than one). We conduct clinical trials to predict how well a medication or therapy will perform in the general population when used to treat a certain condition. Sometimes medications or treatments used for one purpose may be tested again to see if they can treat additional conditions.
Our clinical trials measure the safety and effectiveness of a proposed medication or treatment, compared to a placebo or to existing therapies. While most of our trials compare single medications, others compare combinations of different medications or various dosage levels.
Depending on the stage of a drug or treatment’s development, trials usually start as small pilot studies. As safety and effectiveness data are established, trials can become much larger, sometimes involving many thousands of volunteers at different sites.