The goal of clinical trials is to determine if these treatment, prevention, and behavior approaches are safe and effective. People take part in clinical trials for many reasons. Healthy volunteers say they take part to help others and to contribute to moving science forward. People with an illness or disease also take part to help others, but also to possibly receive the newest treatment and to have added (or extra) care and attention from the clinical trial staff. Clinical trials offer hope for many people and a chance to help researchers find better treatments for others in the future.

Reproduced with permission from NIH Clinical Trials and You. NIH does not endorse or recommend any products, services, or information described or offered here by Healthline. Page last reviewed on October 20, 2017.

Without participants willing to take part in studies, we would never have new treatment options.

Clinical trials are how every FDA-approved medication or procedure has come into existence. Even the over-the-counter medications in your medicine cabinet have gone through clinical trials with human participants. Someone you’ve never met made that pain-relieving prescription a reality.

This information first appeared on Healthline. Page last reviewed on June 23, 2017.