Is this for real?
Yes! Thousands of people just like me and you
participate in clinical research studies every week. There are
studies in nearly every state and for healthy volunteers and
volunteers with preexisting medical conditions.
Is volunteering for clinical research safe?
In general, yes it is safe. There
is the chance that you can get side-effects but you can greatly
reduce your odds by being honest about any medical conditions you
have. Also, it is important to be honest about drugs, illegal
or prescription drugs, that you have taken recently. But even
healthy people with no medical problems can have side-effects, even
severe. This is of course why clinical studies are conducted.
Bottom line, don't hesitate to tell a clinic staff member if you are
feeling anything but normal. You won't get in trouble for
reporting side-effects! In fact, doctors can prescribe drugs
with certain side-effects for other uses. A drug that cause
drowsiness may be prescribed as a sleep-aid.
How much money can I make in a year?
It depends on how many studies you complete
and how much each study pays. If you do a 14 to 30 day study
with a minimum of 30 days off between, then you can theoretically do
6 to 7 studies a year. Again, you must take at least 30 days
off between studies. This is a mandatory washout period
designated to allow you to completely excrete the study drug and
rebuild your blood supply. So, to answer the question, $18,000
to $28,000 a year is about average for people who only do studies
for a living. Of course, there are no guarantees about how
much you can make in a year.
How can I increase my chances of being selected
for a study?
Most studies enroll based on study specific
criteria, then by the order subjects complete the screening process.
So what this usually means is that out of the subjects that qualify
for the study, the subjects who screened first and completed all
requirements of the screening, will have the best shot of being
selected for the study. Certain clinics may also give priority
to subjects who have been backups in previous studies but were not
1. Take the earliest possible screening
2. If there are additional screening visits
like a physical, take the earliest dates.
3. If you need to go back for a repeat blood
draw or other test, try to go back as soon as possible. Your screening process is
not complete until you do your repeat.
4. Be on time to all screenings and check ins.
If you are late, especially to check in, you risk losing your spot.
In the end, it is up to the study doctor and the sponsor to decide
who makes it in and who does not.
Do I have to pay taxes?
All clinics are required to
report your earnings if you make more than $600 at that clinic in a year.
It is considered income and you must report it on your tax returns.
You will fill out a W-9 form usually at check-in. At the end of the year, each clinic you participated in a study at
will send you a 1099 miscellaneous income form, similar to a W2.
You use this form to file your taxes. You should save all your
receipts for travel, gas, hotels related to doing a study.
These expenses may be tax deductible.
Why are some clinics more strict than others?
IE some make you eat all your food and others are tough on vital
signs or ecg's.
The requirements and parameters of a
study are not determined by the clinic. They are outlined by
the sponsor (drug company), depending on the requirements and
objectives of the study.
How many people do clinics screen per study?
The amount of people a clinic screens for a
study will depend on several factors. For the most part,
clinics will screen on a 3 to 1 or 4 to 1 ratio. That means for every
position they need to fill, including backups, they will screen 3 to
people. So basically 1 in 3 or 4 people who screen will qualify for
the study. Not only that, a small percentage of the people
scheduled to screen cancel or don't show up. Another small
percentage will be disqualified for not meeting study requirements.
There will be certain studies that have tougher or unusual
requirements which require screening more people as few people
qualify after screening.
I have never done a study. What is it
The first study for most people
is a turning point. You will either love or hate it. And
whether you love it or hate it, right then and there you'll pretty
much decide that you'll never do another study again or you'll clear all your plans for the year and plan on doing studies.
With that said, the first time is just like your first time starting
a new job, first time at a new school or the first time returning
something to Wal-Mart. You'll be excited at the prospect of
making lots of money in a short time. You'll be terrified of
the blood draws and the idea of taking an experimental drug.
You'll meet lots of new people. Some like you, doing their
first. Some like me, doing their 26th study. And others
on their 2nd or their 50th. Once you get used to the schedule
of procedures, everything falls into place and by the end of the
study, you'll know if doing studies is for you or not. Either
way, medical science benefits whether you do 1 study or 100 studies.
I liken it to summer camp, except you get stabbed in the arm every
15 minutes. You'll laugh, you'll cry, it'll be the best of
times, it'll be the worst of times.
So, basically it's like this. You check in a
day or two before the first dose. You hang out, watch TV, swap
stories with the other volunteers. On the first dosing day,
you'll find out if you make it into the study. If you dose,
then everything is all good. If you don't dose, then try
again, maybe you'll get a better study. Once you are in the
study, you will have at least one day where you will have multiple
blood draws, like 10 to 16 or more. Then the rest of the time,
you just lounge around. Sleep, watch TV, surf the internet,
play games with other subjects. Once the study is over, you
leave, knowing you've made a small difference in the world and
eventually you will get a payment for your time.
Is this site ran by a clinic? Where does
the information come from?
This site is owned and operated by a
volunteer. The majority of the information comes from the
clinic's web pages while the rest comes from personal experiences or
from other volunteers. Some information is forwarded by
clinics, mainly to correct information already on this site.
The travel information is complied by myself and is deemed 'pretty
accurate'. I try to do a complete update of all the clinics
and travel information twice a year. Minor updates are made as needed.
The difference between this site and others like it is that I do
studies right along side everyone else. I'll usually make
myself known as I like to gather more information whenever possible
and what better source than the people who do this stuff everyday.
I've noticed that most clinics have offices all
over the country and the world. Do all locations conduct
No. Most research companies only
have one to several clinics that actually conduct studies. The
rest of the locations are administrative and pharmaceutical
company liaison offices. There are additional locations such
as animal testing, laboratories and research.
What kind of drugs are tested?
Nearly every prescription drug and most
over-the-counter drugs are tested by volunteers in all Phases.
Everything from headache relievers to HIV treatments to cholesterol
lowering medications. Also, drugs that are available in foreign
countries must past certain tests before being sold in the US.
Are you concerned at all about taking
Yes, I do read the
informed consent forms before I sign up. Not only that, these
research studies are monitored at every level. There are
paramedics on duty, doctors on call and the option to discontinue
the study at any time. While adverse side effects may be
uncomfortable, they are necessary to see how drugs work and what new
applications they can be used for.