Research

Clinical trials are research studies performed on people to evaluate a medical or procedural intervention. Clinical trials are the primary way that researchers find out if a new treatment like medication or a medical device is safe and effective in people. At Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Arizona, our focus is clinical trials that provide treatment for eye diseases.

Often a clinical trial is used to learn if a new treatment is more effective or has less harmful side effects than the current treatment. Sometimes researchers are trying to find a way to prevent disease, or how to detect it early.

There are many reasons why people choose to join an ophthalmology clinical trial. Some people participate because there is no current treatment available for their eye disorder. 

Others may join a trial because the treatments they have tried before haven't worked or they've experienced negative side effects. By participating in a clinical trial, participants can find out about new treatments before they become widely available. 

Many people join trials because they want to help researchers learn more about certain eye diseases. When you choose to participate in a clinical trial, you become a partner in scientific discovery. 

Your contribution can help future generations have the gift of better eyesight. Major medical breakthroughs in all fields of medicine could not happen without the generosity of clinical trial participants.

Randomized clinical trials are considered the “gold standard” in clinical research. In a randomized clinical trial, patients are assigned to a treatment group so data from the placebo control group (those given inactive medications) can be compared to the group on the trial medication. 

Generally, the patient as well as the research doctor will not know which patients are receiving the trial, and which are on a placebo. This comparison controls for bias. It also provides the best way to prove the safety and effectiveness of a new medication.

Researchers are required to provide potential participants with complete information about the study. They must obtain signed consent of their willingness to participate. 

The informed consent process is intended to protect participants. This should provide enough information for a person to understand the risks, potential benefits, and alternatives to the medication or device being studied.

Before you agree to participate in any clinical trial, it’s a good idea to ask any questions you may have. These may be a good place to start:

  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • Who is in charge of the study?
  • What treatment or tests will I have? Will they hurt? 
  • What are the chances I will get the experimental treatment or the placebo?
  • What are the possible risks, side effects, and benefits of the study treatment compared with my current treatment?
  • How often do I need to come to the office for additional tests or treatments?
  • How long will the clinical trial last?
  • Will you provide a way for me to get to the study site if I need it, such as a rideshare service?
  • Will being in the study cost me anything? If so, will I be reimbursed for expenses such as travel, parking, or lodging?
  • What steps will you take to ensure my privacy?
  • What will happen at the end of the study?