Clinical Trials within U.S.: Blind Process

CLINICAL TRIALS ARE scientific experiments designed to determine whether new procedures, drugs, or agents are beneficial to those human patients involved. Customarily, a blind process is used in which the new drug (or other treatment) is tested against a placebo, which is a harmless substitute of the same basic size and shape that will not provide any medical benefit. Patients selected to participate in the trial will be divided randomly into groups taking either the new treatment or the placebo. Only when the group not taking that placebo shows statistically significantly higher levels of outcome (however this is measured in medical terms) than the placebo—taking group can the trial be determined a success. This blind process is necessary because there is a clear incentive and ...

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