The bottom line, he said, is that "we want to make the best possible decisions about which drugs are effective and safe."
Dickersin added, "Study participants are making an incredibly important contribution to current and future health care by participating in clinical trials. They can contribute to the impact of the findings by ensuring that they follow the protocol as asked.
"And, even when they have to change treatments or stop the treatment to which they were assigned -- say, because of side effects -- they still can help the study's success by returning for visits and completing all study forms and questionnaires," she added.
Learn more about clinical trials from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
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