Why clinical trials use healthy volunteers

July 30, 2020 4:15 pm


Clinical studies and advances in modern medical research always need volunteers to take part. Without the participation of volunteers, the effect of treatments and medicine in humans will not be known. Most of these trials ask healthy volunteers, which may come as a surprise. Wouldn’t it be better to test drugs and treatments on those suffering from the condition or disease that would benefit from it the most?

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What is considered a healthy volunteer?

A healthy volunteer for medical experiment purposes is an individual with no known significant health problems. It is important for those who participate in studies that test new devices, medicines or drug interactions. These individuals are called healthy volunteers or ‘clinical research’ volunteers. Parts of the research will involve volunteers that are patients as well.

It is important for researchers to develop an understanding of what is ‘normal’ or baseline and this explains why healthy people are needed. For instance, during the development of a new method for taking a blood test or testing new imaging devices, volunteers assist in determining what the normal boundaries are considered to be. Find out more about Paid Clinical Trials at a site like https://www.trials4us.co.uk/

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Volunteers who are healthy are considered as the control group. The characteristics of the volunteers are often aimed at specific groups of patients, such as by age, gender or family relationship. The same tests are then completed in both groups, whether a procedure, drug or device. The knowledge gained about the efficacy of the treatment on the disease can then be processed by comparing the data from both groups.