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What Are Clinical Trials & Paid Medical Trials

Are They As Scary As They Sound?
Doing medical testing for money sounds like a bit of a scary way to earn cash!

Who would want to be pumped full of unknown and untested drugs just to see whether or not they work and if there are any side effects? Can any amount of money justify taking such risks with your own health?

The truth is that many clinical trials simply aren’t like that. Most of them are completely safe since medicines are usually tested before they are used on clinical trial volunteers.

And the money on offer can be pretty handsome!

All of that said, we must stress that there could be dangers involved with certain clinical trials, so it’s always best to know exactly what the short term and long term risks might be - and check with your GP if the trials will be safe for you.
What Types of Clinical Trials Can You Take Part In?
There are a wide range of clinical trials that students and other young people take part in, but not all of them are suitable for everyone. They include:
  • Medical trials such as drug trials, psychology tests, and sensory studies
  • Diet & nutrition studies
  • Sleep research & deprivation studies
Just some of the clinical trials that you might be able to qualify to take part in include Asthma trials, Rheumatoid Arthritis trials, Psoriasis trials, Contraception trials, Diabetes trials, Migraine trials and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) trials.
What Do Clinical Trials Actually Involve?
Once you have applied to be a clinical trials volunteer, the process generally begins with a screening process to check that you are suitable. It will vary for each study and could include taking a medical history, measuring your body mass index (BMI), an ECG test for your heart activity, a blood sample, a urine sample, or the taking of your blood pressure.

If you qualify for the trial, then you will be invited to participate. Participation is completely voluntary so you don’t have to take part even if you qualify. What happens next depends on whether the trial requires you to stay on site at the research unit or not.

For some trials you do not need to stay on site. You will be asked to visit the research centre at specified times on certain days, but you can go home in between. Other trials will require you to stay at the research centre for the duration of the study, which can be anywhere from 2 days to 1 month! Food and accommodation are provided and most centres provide some entertainment too in the form of television, arcades, free internet access, board games, games consoles and the like. If you take a laptop in you can actually spend some of your time doing online work from home jobs to earn even more money!

The type of clinical trial you take part in will determine what is involved. Non-invasive trials such as sensory studies or psychology tests will generally involve answering questionnaires or completing tasks on a computer. Most medical trials are invasive, so will include being given a trial drug and then being monitored which could include blood tests and blood pressure / heart rate monitoring. If you don't like needles then you may struggle with an invasive medical clinical trial!

All trials take a stipulated amount of time, so you will be told exactly when they start and finish. You will generally have to wait a couple of months after being involved in a drug trial before being able to participate in another one.

Spending a month of the summer holidays participating in a live in clinical trial is a way of earning up to £3,500 while also having time to do academic work or an online freelance job.
Am I Eligible To Take Part In Clinical Trials?
The age span for clinical trials tends to be quite wide and ranges from 18 to 80 year olds. So, as a student or young person you have a decent chance of falling within the age bands that the testers are looking for.

For some of the clinical trials that you can be paid for you will need to have a history of the illness that the trial is studying. For example, to take part in some asthma trials you might need to display to the clinical trial team that you have been diagnosed with asthma. Usually they will require your GP to give a confirmed medical history of your illness.

Some trials have other requirements such as a Body Mass Index falling within certain boundaries or that you are a smoker or non-smoker. Other trials may only be studying one particular sex so you may be excluded for certain clinical trials based on your gender.

Many trials require healthy volunteers, so participating in medical trial is not limited to those with an illness.

You will also usually be required to have a good command of the English language to make sure you understand what the aims of the clinical trial are can communicate well with your testers.

With clinical trials being so wide ranging in what they are attempting to test or discover, there could be other requirements and stipulations particular to each specific trial.

The testing team will usually require you to undergo a screening visit to determine whether you are eligible to take part in the clinical trial they are running. The criteria for each study will be different, but clinical trial companies should be up front about what they are looking for.
How Much Can You Earn From Clinical Trials?
As we mentioned earlier, the money you get paid for any clinical trials you qualify for can be pretty good – but the amount does vary quite widely for each particular trial.

Some clinical trials pay based on the number of days you spend with them, so you may get, for example, £100 for each day you stay at the testing centre.

Other clinical trials pay based on a full study and the compensation can be upwards of £400. Indeed, there are some paid medical trials that pay £3,500 for a completed course of study!

Quite often there will also be an allowance for travel expenses which makes these sorts of clinical trials even more appealing.
Clinical trials
Why On Earth Would Anyone Want To Do A Clinical Trial?
Is it all about the money? The money can be excellent, but taking clinical trials for money is not the only reason!
  • Helping find treatments for illnesses that affect millions of people
  • No hard work required – put your feet up and relax!
  • Free food and accommodation for live in trials
  • Reimbursement for your time of up to £3,500
Where Can I Find Opportunities To Take Part In Paid Clinical Trials?
Safe clinical trial opportunities posted on E4S will be listed below. Have a look at these reputable clinical trial companies as well to see what studies they have available:
  • Covance – medical clinical trials in Leeds, Yorkshire
  • Optometric Technology Group – contact lens trials in London offering £25-£1,000 compensation for time and travel
  • Leatherhead Food Research – diet and nutrition studies in Leatherhead, Surrey
  • Richmond Pharmacology – medical research trials in London (Tooting and Croydon)
  • GlaxoSmithKline – pharmaceutical research in Cambridge and London (Hammersmith)
  • Synexus – clinical trials in Manchester, Merseyside, Birmingham, Cardiff, Reading, Glasgow, and Lancashire
  • Surrey Clinical Research Centre – part of the University of Surrey based in Guildford with a high level of accreditation. You will get a free medical check-up too!
Sleep research – check your university for a “sleep research centre”. Some UK universities have them and they are often looking for volunteers!

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