Anyone who watches superhero movies will be wary of the term “human medical trials.” Sure, individuals who take these tests in the movies usually get superpowers in the process, but it sometimes comes at great expense. Take Deadpool, for example. Dude’s got super-fast regeneration powers. But I doubt he enjoys looking at himself in the mirror.
But in the real world, participating in medical trials is a relatively safe and great way to supplement your income. The money is usually good, but you can also take pride in the fact that you’re doing your part in the advancement of science and medicine.
The cool thing is, some tests aren’t even invasive at all. For example, NASA paid a huge sum of money to study people’s sleep patterns. The data collected helped NASA in their space missions. Pretty sweet, right?
To help you decide how and where to participate in medical trials, I’ve created a list of websites for you to check out. But before we get to that, here are a few things you should know first.
Risks and Regulations
Taking part in medical trials isn’t a decision you should take lightly. That’s doubly true for tests that require invasive procedures, or ones that require taking certain drugs.
Most drug trials are at Phase 1, which is the stage they try to spot and address side-effects. It’s your job to note these effects and report them to the testing facility. That’s actually the point of these tests- to spot any side effects and address them before making the drugs or procedures available to the public.
But that actually sounds scarier than it really is. There is a system of checks and balances in place that prevents researchers from administering toxic or fatal medicines. Regulations and committees were created to protect you, so take comfort in that.
One of the best ways to minimize your risk is to go with a reputable clinic or testing facility, some of which I’ve listed below. These establishments work under strict regulations and guidelines set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These rules are being implemented to protect test subjects such as yourself from unscrupulous practices.
There’s another layer of protection for you- before a testing facility can even start human trials, it needs to get the approval of an independent ethics committee.
How to Qualify for Medical Studies
Qualifications will vary depending in the tests being conducted, but generally, you’ll have to be of legal age to participate. The testing facility will specify their needs, and screen applicants before accepting them.
Some tests will need participants with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes or other diseases. Other tests will require a particular age group. For example, research on arthritis medication will require more senior participants.
How Much Can I Make Participating in Medical Tests?
This also depends on the testing facility and the actual tests. But a good ballpark figure is around $100 per day. But that amount can go up to around $8,000 if you need to be tested and stay in the facility for a few weeks of observation. Even at the lower end of the pay scale, that’s a pretty decent amount.
Where to Apply for Medical Trials
Check out the list of websites below. Note that these are resources. They list tests and facilities, but don’t actually do the tests themselves. I don’t doubt that they list only legitimate facilities that meet or exceed government regulations, but I would still recommend you do your due diligence before applying.
Also remember that most legit facilities will reimburse you for travel expenses. So be sure to bring that up if travel is required.
The site was created by the US National Library of Medicine, and has an extensive database of trials and tests for you to apply for. It also has extensive articles on the risks of potential benefits of participating in tests. I appreciate that.
It’s run by the US government, but the site’s scope is global. You can filter tests based on location, as well as other criteria such as relevance to a particular disease or condition.
ClinicalConnection lets you create a profile, which testing facilities can look through. This means researchers can come to you, instead of just you looking for them. (You can still search for tests on your own, though)
The site also has an active community of volunteers and participants, where info on tests and facilities are freely shared.
This site is a free online directory, and has a pretty wide scope: it includes tests being held in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and Europe.
The various tests are listed clearly, but I liked the fact that the entries are also upfront about some of the pre-existing conditions they require.
CenterWatch is another director you should check out. They’ve been around since 1994, which proves that they’re not a fly by night organization. I’ve used this site frequently; apart from finding tests to participate in, it also collates news related to medical testing.
You can also sign up for email updates on tests, so you’ll always be in the know.
Taking medicine isn’t for everyone. If you’re one of those, don’t worry. You can still participate in medical trials. There are non-invasive options you can try. All you have to do is go through the directories I’ve listed and pick tests that don’t require you to take drugs or undergo procedures you are averse to. You can also check with local universities for available tests.
One such test is the Personal Genome Project, a long-term endeavor by Harvard Medical School. The study attempts to sequence the genome of 100,000 subjects. All the school required from participants was a saliva sample.
You can also participate in psychological tests. These tests don’t pay as much as the invasive ones, but it’s should still be good for making a bit of cash.
Participating in medical tests is a legit way to make good money. And despite the how scary it may sound, it’s actually pretty safe. I would suggest you study the tests (and testing facilities carefully) before applying.
Also, there are rules and regulations in place for your protection. Familiarize yourself with them, and use them as a basis for picking tests to participate in.
This article is based on my own experiences and personal research. Now it’s your turn to share. Have you participated in medical tests? How did it go, and what safety precautions did you take?
Let’s hear your stories!