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Clinical trials are of the utmost importance in the development and continued monitoring of new drugs entering the market, to ensure their safety and efficacy in improving human health. Although extensive experimentation in the lab and in animal models of human disease takes place prior to clinical trials, trials on human patients are a necessity to determine whether the new approach will work well in humans, and often in what group of people and in what combination with other drugs (if any). Because the treatments being administered to volunteer patients are for the first time being tested in humans, various mechanisms must be in place to protect those volunteers as much as possible. Failure to do so can lead to abuse and unfair maltreatment of ...

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