What is a clinical trial?

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical treatment, drug, procedure or device is safe and effective for humans.

Clinical trials are an important part of the evidence-based process for making new treatments available to patients. They produce the best possible data for health care decision-makers.

They are required by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) which licenses new medicinal products. Doctors can only use drugs, procedures and devices with this licence to treat their patients.

Doctors, other health care professionals and patients also use the results of clinical trials when they are planning treatments.

Clinical trials follow strict scientific standards which protect patients and produce high-quality results.