A clinical trial is a study performed on patients to evaluate medical devices or procedures, diagnostic tests, or even new therapies. The trial aims to answer a question about the health of a certain population. The questions that can be answered in a clinical trial can benefit both animal and human health. Many of the naturally occurring diseases that affect pets closely resemble those suffered by humans, as a result, animal clinical trials have a profound impact on not only veterinary medicine but humans as well.
Each clinical trial is different in terms of costs. While some may cover all or most of the costs involved, others are only limited to certain items such as the diagnostic test for the study. You will be informed at the beginning of each trial what your financial responsibility includes and feel free to ask any questions or concerns you may have in regards to the cost of each test.
If you choose to enroll your pet in a clinical trial you are responsible to follow and complete the study procedures as outlines in the client consent form. This may include medicating your pet for a certain number of times and/or returning to the hospital for follow-up visits. You must agree to inform the clinician in charge of the study of any concerns or health issues at home that your pet may be having or if you decide to remove your pet from the clinical trial. You should understand the costs provided by the study and also the costs you are required to pay before enrolling your pet in a clinical trial. Any questions that you may have can be addressed before you decide to enroll your pet.
Each trial is different in terms of what is needed from your pet. Some trials just require a blood or tissue sample, while other involve your pet trying a new medication with follow-up visits needed. Still others require your pet to be a part of a certain procedure such as a CT scan or force mat data analysis. Some trials even require you to receive a phone call for updates on your pet's condition. These all vary with the type of trial being performed and will be communicated with you in advance.
Clinical trials offer enrolled patients a chance to advance the future of health care for both animals and humans. Some trials allow access to a new treatment protocol that isn't currently available. Another benefit is your pet will have access to the best veterinary health care staff available. These include veterinarians, technicians, and other animal care specialists who are experts in their fields and will work to make your pet's visit as pleasant as possible. Even though your pet may not directly benefit from a clinical trial, their participation helps to further the medical knowledge of investigators and possibly saves lives in the future.