Why do we have a volunteer database?
What are clinical research studies
(also called clinical trials)?
Do I have to have an illness to take part?

Before a new medicine is allowed to be given to patients it has to be tested to see if it is safe and works properly, and what the best dose would be.The medicines are tested in clinical research studies. We have a volunteer database, where we type some of your details into a computer so that we can keep records of people who have said that they would like to be part of future clinical research studies

These are experiments where we find out about new treatments for various illnesses. Volunteers come into a research centre and take the new treatment for a short time while being closely looked after by doctors and nurses. A number of tests are done in theses studies to see how their bodies react to the new treatment.

No, not always. In fact, many studies are done with completely healthy volunteers. As they are not ill, the new medicine is not going to treat any illness. Therefore these volunteers will not get any medical help from the medicine. Instead, they help others by helping us develop new medicines . 

Why join our volunteer database?
Will personal details be kept private?
For more information

It is because of people who agree to be part of these kinds of clinical trials (volunteers) that new medicines are developed for patients who need them. You will not be helped by the medicine being tested if you do not have that illness. IT will cost you nothing to join our volunteer database, and we will reimburse you for the costs of your travel and inconvenience. Sometimes we ask people with one illness (e.g. HIV) to take a new treatment that is not for their illness but for something else, like malaria. This helps us understand how best to treat people with both malaria and HIV.

Your records will be seen by some of the research staff, and by authorised persons, such as from the University Ethics Committee, who checks to see that people are being added to the database correctly. If you give permission to be part of the database we will capture your records in the computer and they may also be seen by staff from future clinical research studies. However we will ask your permission for that at the time of the future study. All those people have to keep your details confidential. Your identity will also not be given in any publication.

If you would like more information about joining our adult volunteer database, please feel free to contact us @ ccoat@uct.ac.za

Insightful video on why we need new drugs here