Clinical trials are vital to medical innovation. When someone is sick and desperate for a solution, it is not hard to imagine participating in a clinical trial with the hope of reaching a much needed breakthrough. It is a bit of a bigger leap, however, for a healthy person to choose to participate in a trial that might have negative side effects, and at the very least can be inconvenient.
Some trials attract more subjects by paying for their participation. All clinical trials provide the required medical care, lab tests and medication for free. Many will also compensate for the participant’s time and travel. Some trials, however, will pay thousands of dollars to attract subjects to higher risk or more inconvenient experiments. That is more likely to be the case in the early stages of research when side effects might still be largely unknown.
Some trials require subjects to remain in the facility conducting the research for the duration of the trial, or for extended periods of time. The pay for participating in those will likely be more to compensate for the inconvenience.
The researchers will provide information about the specific requirements of a trial, and potential subjects should ensure they are clear on all the requirements and comfortable with them. For example, a clinical trial for a new medication will likely require frequent blood draws or urine samples. Studies might also restrict diet or physical activity during the course of the trial.
Participants need to feel comfortable with the limitations of the study and should always be able to ask questions and get more information from the researchers.
Regardless of pay, participation in clinical trials is always voluntary. Subjects should be permitted to drop out of a study at any time for any reason.
If you are uncertain about your eligibility, or have questions about taking part in a clinical research study, speak with your physician. Our goal is to respond to all initial clinical trial inquiries within 24 hours. If you contact us over the weekend we will do our best to get back in touch with you on the next business day.