Saturday, May 28, 2005

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Clinical Trials
Before gaining Food and Drug Administration marketing approval,
new drugs, biologics, and medical devices must be proven safe and
effective by controlled clinical trials.

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Many advocates of unproven treatments and cures contend that
people have the right to try whatever may offer them hope, even if
others believe the remedy is worthless. This argument is especially
compelling for people with AIDS or other life-threatening diseases
with no known cure.

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How can you tell which of these may really help treat your medical
condition, and which will only make you worse off--financially,
physically, or both?

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An FDA Guide to
Choosing Medical Treatments
by Isadora B. Stehlin
FDA Consumer June 1995
Medical treatments come in many shapes and sizes. There are "home
remedies" shared among families and friends. There are prescription
medicines, available only from a pharmacist, and only when ordered
by a physician. There are over-the-counter drugs that you can buy--
almost anywhere--without a doctor's order. Of growing interest and
attention in recent years are so-called alternative treatments, not yet
approved for sale because they are still undergoing scientific research
to see if they really are safe and effective. And, of course, there are
those "miracle" products sold through "back-of-the-magazine" ads
and TV infomercials.