The main thing to know when considering participation in a clinical research study is you are not a human “guinea pig.” Clinical studies are strictly monitored; volunteers receive detailed informed consent forms to review and sign before participating, and they receive excellent care by a team of medical professionals including a supervising physician. Many clinical research trials available in the Coachella Valley are phase 3 studies, which is the last phase of investigation to confirm safety and effectiveness before the medication or treatment is presented to the FDA for final approval.

Some studies compare existing drugs with similar new options; other trials test previously FDA-approved medications or ingredients that are being presented in different protocol combinations or strengths; and a few studies are truly groundbreaking.

One of the biggest benefits of participating in a clinical study is the opportunity to obtain leading-edge care before it’s readily available to the public. This is especially helpful if your current medication is not working as well as both you and your doctor would like. By volunteering in a clinical trial, you could get access to a medication or treatment that may offer greater efficacy than existing options.

One local teenager’s parents enrolled her in a clinical study through Palmtree Clinical Research for a non-steroidal topical cream to treat eczema. The girl had severe eczema on her arms and legs and would wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants even in warm weather to cover up the scaly and often broken skin rash lesions which made her feel self conscious. Over the course of the trial her eczema greatly improved to the point where she was able to wear sleeveless tops and shorts. This study medication, Eucrisa, has since received FDA approval and was the first new medication approved for eczema in more than a decade. Among this plant-based formula’s active ingredients is boron. One of the side effects of steroidal creams is that they can thin the skin. The non-steroidal Eucrisa offers what may be a better safety profile and is a welcome option for managing eczema.

In addition to receiving study-related medical care at no cost, most clinical studies offer a monetary stipend for the volunteer’s time and travel costs. Yet one more reason to participate in a clinical study is the altruistic aspect of helping others with the same medical condition you have and knowing that you are contributing to scientific development and the future of medicine.

According to an online survey of nearly 4,000 people in the United States conducted this past summer by Scorr Marketing in conjunction with Antidote, the top reasons people choose to participate in clinical research studies are as follows:

  1. I wanted to help future patients who come after me.
  2. I wanted to improve my quality of life.
  3. I wanted to receive the best care possible.
  4. I wanted to receive the most up-to-date therapies without the high expense.
  5. I joined to extend my life.
  6. I was following my doctor’s recommendation.

Palmtree Clinical Research is located in Palm Springs. For more information about current clinical studies being offered, please visit or call (760) 778.7799.

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