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Would you like to earn some money from home and do good at the same time? If yes, then clinical trials might be for you. Participants are compensated very generously and, no, it is not as scary as it sounds. However, there are a few things you should know before signing up. We're answering the FAQ:
All reputable research laboratories agree that the main motivation for taking part in medical studies should not be personal gain. The reward that is paid at the end is paid as compensation for the time spent in hospital while subjects are being examined. Either way, the amounts can be more than £3500 plus travel expenses.
On the other hand, the main concern of the volunteers is the possibility of risks involved when taking part in clinical trials. Regarding this, you should keep in mind that all potential participants must be given all relevant information so they can make an informed decision. Clinical trials are strictly regulated by the MHRA (the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) and need to be approved by an ethics committee, so participants are always protected. You will be able to leave the trial at any time. However, there are no trials that are suitable for the needle-phobic. You will have to undergo extensive testing, such as giving blood.
The financial compensation can be very high, especially compared to taking up a side job, but you should not only be in it for the money. Clinical trials are mainly about advancing medical research and helping people in need. The amount of money that is paid to participants is depending on the study. It can be anything from a few hundred pounds to a few thousand, but it is solely paid as compensation for the time spent at the research facility and not for the medical test itself.
There is a huge number of approved medicines out there that work as treatments against all sorts of diseases, but improving medication and developing new drugs is still essential. Researchers at University hospitals and pharmaceutical companies invest billions in the development of new drugs. Before these new drugs can be marketed and sold in the UK, they have to be tested thoroughly. The vast majority of those that take part in clinical trials are NHS patients that are testing a new or alternative drug for their specific condition. For other trials, healthy people are needed to find out if a treatment causes any undesirable side effects. The whole process is strictly regulated and only drugs that have successfully passed all previous stages of testing and development will be tested on humans.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to only sign up with a trustworthy company. Trialist.co.uk is one of the leaders in this field in the UK. The site helps people interested in taking part in medical research by getting them in touch with hospitals and Universities that are currently looking for participants. This way, healthcare staff can focus on their main job, which is research and caring for patients. You will be able to withdraw anytime if you change your mind!
After signing up, you will be part of the database of research institutions. They will approach you when searching for participants with your characteristics (age, sex, smoker/non-smoker, availability, etc) for an upcoming study. Of course, you can refuse invitations or even have your name taken off the list if you change your mind later on.
Yes, you can take part in multiple clinical trials. You should take a break of a few months between them though. Depending on the study, you might be required to take a break of about 6 months before starting another trial.
Medical trials are especially suitable for people who are very flexible. A lot of the participants are stay-at-home mums, students, or retired people.
Getting pricked in the arm is not your thing? There are other ways of making easy money from the comfort of your own home. Why not take part in online surveys? They might not pay as well, but the risk is 0!