Understanding Placebos in Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are intended to test the safety and effectiveness on investigational therapies. So why are placebos used, particularly in vaccine trials? Placebos are particularly useful for helping researchers assess safety, efficacy, and actual side effects among control and treatment groups. What is a placebo though? Placeboes are inactive pills, injections, or procedures that have no effect on humans. Placebos are commonly called ‘sugar pills’ or ‘saline shots’. Placebos are used in some clinical trials to help researchers determine if an investigational therapy is effective. In a placebo-controlled … Read more

Can I Get Paid for Participating in a Clinical Trial?

“Can I get paid for participating in a study?” This is the most common question people ask Meridian online when considering signing up for a clinical trial. The answers is yes, you can get paid for study-related time and travel for participating in most clinical trials. While not all studies pay participants, most studies at Meridian pay from $75 to $4,500. The amount is determined by many factors, including, but not limited to: The number of in-person visits required The number of phone visits required Diary entry, or symptom … Read more

Checklist: Questions to Ask Before Joining a Clinical Trial

Participating in a study is an important decision, and you should be comfortable with your decision. Each study is different, but the informed consent process ensures you understand what will happen. You’ll learn about the product being studied, your role in the trial, potential side effects, and the visits required. You can ask the following questions to make a more informed decision about joining. What is the goal of this study? How will the medicine, medical device, or test be given to me? How many times will I … Read more

What is a Clinical Trial?

Clinical trials are research studies of medications, vaccines, medical devices, procedures, and diagnostics (tests). These studies involve people (a.k.a., participants), and are meant to determine whether certain experimental products are safer and/or more effective than currently approved products.  Without clinical trials, it would be impossible to develop new medicines, cures, vaccines, and other medical products.  Examples of products for which clinical trials are conducted include:  Vaccines: Influenza, Ebola, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Medications: Topical creams for eczema, oral tablets or injections for multiple sclerosis, liquid cough/cold medications for children  Medical … Read more