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Talking with Your Doctor About Clinical Trials

It is important to make an informed decision when considering a clinical trial, and talking to your doctor should be part of this process. Bring the information about any trials with you when you visit your doctor, so you can discuss the pros and cons of each. Your doctor should be able to help explain the process of joining a clinical trial, and you can make a shared decision about what is best for you. Remember that when you join a clinical trial, you will be working with the health care team that is associated with the trial – this might mean seeing a different doctor than you do now. Be sure to coordinate your care among your doctors. 

Your Doctor's Role in Clinical Trials

Talk to your doctor about clinical trials that may benefit you. Ask your doctor to help you sort through the pros and cons of enrolling in a clinical trial and the different treatment options.

Be sure to ask about whether the drug being tested is better or riskier for you than no treatment.  Is it better than existing treatments that are already approved?

Although you can leave a clinical trial at any time, be sure to let the doctor or nurse know why you want to leave. You are also encouraged to see your primary health care provider on a regular basis even if you are in a clinical trial.

10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before Enrolling in a Clinical Trial

  • Where is the site located and how often will I need to go there?
  • Will I be charged for any part of the trial or will my insurance pay for it?
  • Why do researchers think the treatment will work better than standard (FDA-approved) treatment?
  • Who is most likely to benefit from this drug?
  • How many people have tested the drug and what has happened to them?
  • What are the possible short and long-term side effects?
  • What tests or procedures are involved and how are patients safely monitored while on the treatment?
  • What happens to my hepatitis B when I stop taking the drug?
  • What is the follow-up care after the clinical trial ends?
  • If this drug doesn't work for me, am I eligible to try another one?