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What happens when a trial is completed?

After a clinical trial is completed, the researchers examine all the information collected during the study. Researchers can then determine whether the results mean that the new intervention should continue to the next phase of clinical trial, or, when applicable, seek approval for general use by the relevant authorities. Once a new intervention has been proven to be safe and effective, it may become part of standard treatment for the disease or condition.

Examination and analysis of the information can take some time. Therefore, there may be a delay before the results of a clinical trial are known, particularly with larger trials that can involve thousands of people and that may take place over several years.

If you have taken part in a trial, the researchers should make the results available to you directly (if you have indicated that you wish to know the results). It is also expected that results of all completed studies will be made available in reports or papers published in scientific journals.