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About Clinical Trials

What are clinical trials? 

Clinical trials are a type of research which compares new or different types of treatment with a comparator, such as the current treatment that is available (if there is one available), alternative treatments or a placebo. Clinical trials involve volunteer participants and aim to find out if a new treatment is safe and whether it is effective for the disease or condition that is being studied. Treatments being researched can be in the form of drugs, medical devices, surgery, vaccines, education models, the organisation or management of a healthcare service and other types of potential therapies.

Why participate in clinical trials?

Further Information:

More information about clinical trials can be found on the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre website at

The Australian government lists research networks and support groups for particular disorders at Most of these sites have helpful information, including relevant publications.

For scientific articles, you can search our Published Research page or PubMed. Trials being conducted in Australia can be found on the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry. The search portal of the World Health Organization (WHO) allows you to search worldwide for trials that are being conducted.