Baga and her colleagues hear many myths associated with clinical trials, including:
Myth: Clinical trials are only for people with no other treatment options.
Fact: While this is sometimes true, it isn’t the case for all clinical trials. Some studies evaluate new preventive drugs or screening guidelines, and others look to improve existing standard-of-care treatment regimens. The bottom line is, there’s a spectrum of clinical trials for all types of individuals, not just those who have tried all currently approved treatments for their condition.
Myth: Once I enroll in a clinical trial, I can’t leave without financial or medical consequences.
Fact: Participants can withdraw from clinical trials whenever they would like to and for whatever reason. There is no financial consequence, and they are still able to receive medical care at the institution hosting the trial.
Myth: If I’m enrolled in a treatment trial, I might get the placebo and not receive any care.
Fact: Clinical trials evaluating a new treatment option may have a placebo arm (meaning that certain participants will not receive the active treatment and instead will receive a sham or nonactive treatment), but this is only the case for conditions that don’t have any other approved treatment options.
If there is an approved therapy available, some participants may receive that instead of the treatment being investigated.