Educating the public about the importance of clinical research in Minnesota.

What are
clinical trials? 

Clinical trials are research studies that generate data to support FDA approval of a new medicine or a new indication for an existing medication. They also grant participants early access to new medicines, which are being developed to help combat chronic and serious diseases. Without clinical trials, new medicines could not be approved and—most importantly—made available to patients who need them.

In Minnesota, thousands of clinical trials have targeted diseases and conditions like asthma, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. By volunteering for a clinical trial, patients take an active role in their health care by helping researchers test new treatments.

Economic Impact

Clinical researchers and biopharmaceutical companies in Minnesota are busy developing life-saving treatments right here in your backyard. Not only does this research produce healthcare innovations, it also has a huge impact on the state's economy.

Who we are

The Minnesota Clinical Research Alliance (MCRA) is a collaborative effort among key segments of Minnesota's medical research community.


What we do

We are dedicated to educating the public, elected officials and the media about the importance of clinical research to patients, the health care system and the state’s economy. Our mission is for Minnesota to be recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in patient care, innovation and collaboration for the benefit of our patients.

We work together to:

  • Provide clinical research education and support for elected officials, the media, manufacturers, vendors, service providers and academic partners.
  • Defining clinical research in easily understandable terms that educate all to the instrumental role our industry plays in healthcare and the economy.
  • Ensure patient safety and clinical research integrity continue to be the foundation of our efforts.




Who conducts clinical trials?

Clinical trials are conducted by physicians, investigators and researchers at various organizations including local research institutions, hospitals and universities.

Why should I participate in a clinical trial?

Participation in a clinical trial often provides patients access to potential new treatments and to expert health care at leading institutions. By participating in a clinical trial, you play an active role in your health and the health of others by contributing to scientific knowledge that may lead to potential new medical treatments for future patients.

Are clinical trials safe?

Clinical trials are tightly regulated to ensure maximum safety for participants.

All clinical trials involving human participants are monitored by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure high safety standards and processes are followed. IRBs are comprised of at least five members with a wide range of backgrounds, including at least one scientist, at least one non-scientist (such as a lawyer or professor) and at least one member of the community who is not connected to the institution or sponsor of the trial. Additionally, federal agencies such as the Office of Human Subjects Research Protection and Food and Drug Administration oversee clinical trials to ensure patient safety.

By the time a potential new treatment is allowed to be tested in patients, it has been in development for at least three to six years, meaning it’s already been through rigorous preclinical testing. A treatment must be backed by valid scientific evidence that shows it is likely to be safe before it can be administered to patients in a clinical trial.

As with any medical treatment, participation in a clinical trial offers benefits and risks. Researchers conducting clinical trials will clearly explain the potential benefits and risks, so you can feel confident about making the best decision in consultation with your doctor. Participants always have the right to end their participation at any time, even if the study is not over. According to the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation, most clinical trials participants indicate they would participate again.

National Links is a registry of federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted in the United States and around the world.

Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP)
The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP) is a first-of-its-kind nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and informing the public, patients, medical/research communities, the media, and policy makers about clinical research and the role each party plays in the process.
The global source for clinical trials information: offering news, analysis, study grants, career opportunities, and trial listings to professionals and patients.
ClinicalConnection serves as more than a Study Participant recruiter, the company serves as the connection between Study Participants and the Clinical Investigators nationwide that are conducting clinical trials.
Website for the Office of the Food and Drug Administration
Healthcare Ready is a tool activated to help keep emergency responders informed on the status of the biopharmaceutical supply chain in the event of a natural disaster or emergency. Healthcare Ready’s Rx Open tool was deployed in 11 states and the District of Columbia, and helped victims and evacuees who needed to fill or re-fill their prescriptions find open pharmacies. Healthcare Ready also helped emergency responders with critical information on the challenges facing supply chain partners relating to electricity, fuel and transportation issues.
NIH’s mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce the burdens of illness and disability.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance has helped thousands of Minnesota patients access free or nearly free prescription medicines for residents who are underinsured or uninsured within the state. Patients should go to www. for more information. The on-line process takes about 15 minutes, and you’ll find out instantly if you’re likely to be eligible for help.