Participation in clinical trials is a way for patients who are not responding to standard medications to receive investigational treatments. Participation also allows patients to contribute to science and help doctors and researchers help others. Participants have access to new medications before they become available to the general public and medicine, medical evaluations, laboratory tests and doctor visits free of charge. But there are disadvantages. Some patients in the study may receive placebos (inactive agents like sugar pills) instead of active medicine, so their condition may get worse. Another consideration is that patients may experience side effects from the medications and the side effects are likely less well-known in investigational medicines.
The following is a list of Web sites that maintain information on clinical trials for people with rheumatoid arthritis and rheumatic diseases.
The CenterWatch Clinical Trials Listing Service site contains a comprehensive list of clinical trials by state including a brief summary of the trial and contact information.
The National Institutes of Health maintains a Web site for federally and privately funded clinical trials, including general information to help consumers understand what clinical trials are and other consumer news and information. Trial listings can be accessed by condition, sponsor or status (if they are recruiting).
The NIH Clinical Center also maintains a general Web site for consumer information about clinical trials, frequently asked questions, a clinical trial locator and other patient information. Professional nurses are also available to answer questions and provide information regarding the Clinical Center’s clinical research trials and associated topics. Both the general public and practicing physicians may contact the appropriate staff person for details on specific research studies and the criteria for patient referral. To find out more, call toll free: 1-800-411-1222.
The Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center in Baltimore, MD is currently conducting clinical trials for people with rheumatoid arthritis and JRA on topics, such as exercise, the efficacy of yoga for people with RA and genetic studies.
Veritas Medicine for Patients maintains a rheumatoid arthritis Web site containing a clinical trial finder and personalized clinical trial information.
Published On: June 12, 2006