Objective: Analyze how the medication is processed within the body and ensure the safety of human consumption.
Number of Participants: Fewer than 15
Length of Phase: Several months
Objective: Determine the ideal consumption frequency and the highest dose of treatment that patients can handle without major or harmful side effects.
Number of Participants: Fewer than 30
Length of Phase: Up to 1 year
Objective: Determine the effectiveness of the drug. In this phase, different combinations of medications are often tested. However, these drugs are rarely compared to current standard-of-care medications.
Number of Participants: Several hundred
Length of Phase: Up to 2 years
Objective: Definitively decide if the new drug performs better than the current standard-of-care drug. Patients are separated into randomized groups to test the new drug against a control group using the current standard-of-care drug. Patients do not know which group they’re in until the trial has been completed in an effort to avoid the placebo effect.
Number of Participants: Up to 3,000
Length of Phase: Several years but will be cut short in the event of significant results
Objective: Discover long-term and/or unique side effects not noticed in immediate phases as well as overall long-term effectiveness. This phase begins after the medication has been approved by the FDA.
Number of Participants: Several thousand
Length of Phase: Several years
Q: Why are clinical trials performed?
A: Clinical trials are performed when there is a reason to believe that a new drug may improve a patient’s care.
Q: Do I need to participate in all phases of the trial?
A: No, you may participate in any phase that is open to you.
Q: Why are trials “randomized”?
A: Doctors use a computer program to randomize clinical trials and ensure the results are unbiased.