What is a clinical trial?
A clinical trial is a biomedical/health-related research study into the effects on humans of a new medical treatment (medicine/drug, medical device, vaccine or new therapy), sometimes called an investigational medicinal product (IMP). Before a new drug is authorised and can be marketed, it must pass through several phases of development including trial phases in which its safety, efficacy, risks, optimal use and/or benefits are tested on human beings. Existing drugs must also undergo clinical testing before they can be used to treat other conditions than that for which they were originally intended.
Last Updated: Friday 21 August 2009