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What Type of Clinical Trials are Phase 3 Trials?

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Updated September 19, 2012

Definition:

Phase 3 trials are clinical trials that are done to see if an experimental drug or treatment works better, or has fewer side effects than the standard treatment for a condition. Treatments that are being evaluated in phase 3 trials have already been tested in phase 1 clinical trials (trials to look at safety), and phase 2 trials (trials done to see of a treatment works).

Phase 3 trials are often “double-blind” clinical trials, that is, neither the researchers nor the patients know if individuals are receiving the experimental treatment or the standard treatment.

Further Reading:

Also Known As: phase III clinical trials
Examples:
Kevin is taking part in a phase 3 trial for lung cancer, testing a new medication to see if it works better than the treatment that is usually prescribed. He doesn’t know if he is getting the standard chemotherapy drug or the new experimental drug.

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