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Infographic: What Is a Clinical Trial?

Clinical Trials Day Is May 20. Follow the journey of a potential treatment through four important phases.


Each clinical trial is an engine that powers progress toward a potential new medicine or treatment. Without clinical trials – and clinical trial participants – innovation would come to a halt, which is why they are emphasized and celebrated on Clinical Trials Day on May 20.

Clinical trials have multiple phases and take years to complete. At first, a trial seeks to ensure a potential treatment is safe. If it is, then painstaking research follows to determine if the potential medicine meets its endpoints, which is another way of saying “it works” according to the specific targets the trial set and then measured.

See the infographic below to see a map of the entire process.

Visit the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) for more information about Clinical Trials Day

An illustration that explains the four phases of a research clinical trial