How to Sign Up for Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are one of the main ways that researchers determine if new drugs or treatments are safe and effective for humans. They’re a vital part of the research process and are necessary in many cases before a drug or treatment can be approved for use in human beings.
Clinical trials for people are only approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after drugs and treatments have been evaluated in the laboratory and/or have been evaluated through animal studies.
Because there is so much oversight and regulation for clinical trials, they are as safe as researchers and the FDA can make them. If there is any indication that a drug or treatment may be harmful, studies will be stopped immediately.
What this means for you is that clinical trials can be a safe way to earn extra money. Because you get access to medications and treatments that aren’t yet on the market, you may benefit if you suffer from a disease or disorder that doesn’t yet have effective treatments.
You can also potentially earn quite a bit of money. It’s not uncommon for clinical trials to pay well over $1,000 — some even paying $5,000 or more, and many will reimburse you for your expenses related to travel or hotel stays.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that most trials take a significant amount of time, which is one reason why the pay is so high.
That being said, not all clinical trials pay, and some may even cost money, so it’s critical that you have a good idea of what you’re okay with and what you’re not before starting the process. If you suffer from a serious illness or disease and really want to try new therapies, it may be worth it to pay to be in the trial (or at least to not be compensated).
Here’s how you can sign up for clinical trials near you.
1. Look for Options Online
There are many clinical trials going on at any given time as researchers are constantly coming up with new treatments and drugs, so it won’t be difficult to find options.
The difficulty is finding options in your area. You may need to do a lot of research before you can find a clinical trial that’s near where you live. It’s often the case that you’ll have to travel to get to many clinical trials as most take place in large cities.
There are usually two types of people who are interested in clinical trials. One group is people who are suffering from a particular illness or disorder who are interested in accessing new forms of treatment, especially when existing forms of treatment are not effective for them.
The other group includes otherwise healthy people who simply want to participate in studies to earn extra money. Whatever the case, you’ll want to look for options that align with your needs and interests.
2. See If You’re Eligible and Apply
Many clinical trials require you to suffer from a particular disease or illness to participate, while others want participants who are essentially healthy. In most cases, there are very specific criteria for who can participate.
However, most clinical trials have narrower criteria than just healthy people. They often want people of a certain age group, who may or may not smoke or drink, who are of a certain sex, or even who are of a particular ethnic background.
If you’re not eligible, there’s no point in applying, so look for studies that you’re a good fit for before you spend time applying, as the application process can take some time.
Depending on the clinical trial, you may have to call a specific facility. There are many facilities around the country that specialize in conducting clinical trials, so contacting them by phone might be the easiest way to apply.
In other cases, you can simply send an email to the study organizers, or even just fill out a form online. The forms can be somewhat time-consuming because of all the necessary screening questions, but if you’re really interested in the study, then it’s worth the time.
In most cases, applying is only the first step — you have to actually meet with the study organizers before you can be considered for the clinical trial. Make absolutely certain that you meet the criteria before you set up an appointment — otherwise, you’ll be wasting your own time and the organizers’ time.
For example, if you know that you have to stop drinking for the duration of the study, but you’re unwilling to do so, or that you cannot take a certain medication to be a part of the study (a medication that you take), then you should likely look for other available clinical trials.
3. Review Potential Risks and Benefits with the Study Organizers
Your appointment is the next step in the process. You may be required to undergo a physical exam, or even undergo some other types of tests, before you can participate. For example, if your blood pressure is too high or your BMI is too low, you may be disqualified.
After undergoing any required testing, you’ll then be able to talk to the study organizers about the clinical trial itself. Just because you’ve vetted the study online doesn’t mean you have all the information you need. You’ll want to gather as much information as you can during this meeting.
It’s important that you learn what the benefits and risks of the study are so that you’re not signing up for something that would make you uncomfortable. You’ll also want to review payment and reimbursement, how long the trial will last, and what’s required of you during the trial.
Then, you just have to wait to be contacted by the study organizers. Even if you meet all the criteria, you may not be chosen. If that’s the case, you can always look for other clinical trials.
Interested in Participating in a Clinical Trial? Find One in Your Area
If you’re looking for a clinical trial in your area, we can help.
Click here to find a clinical trial near you.