Clinical research helps us answer specific questions about a drug or treatment, such as:

  • Is it effective?
  • Is it more effective than an established treatment?
  • Is it safe and what are its side effects?

The development of a new drug can take more than 10 years. Although long, this length of time is vital to ensure each drug is tested rigorously.

During this time, an investigational drug (one that is being studied as a new treatment) passes through three stages of research that are called Phases each with specific objectives. If an drug passes through all three phases successfully, it’s submitted to regulatory authorities for approval for use in the general public. After an investigational drug has been approved, additional studies may be conducted in Phase 4 research.