Clinical Trials…free money?

It’s been a funny ol’ week, glued to my computer, tapping away, trying to meet several upcoming deadlines.

Inevitably, when you’re a writer and a project involves research, you tend to subconsciously find ways to distract yourself. It’s not because you’re trying to sabotage your own life plans by failing to complete anything,  it just sort of happens. My decline into complete distraction starts with a vague strand of an idea that involves typing a random phrase into google. When the results appear, maybe one on the page of many will be relevant, but that doesn’t mean I won’t ‘investigate’ the other suggestions! I might miss something epic disguised as a video of a dog making a funny noise when it’s tickled…and thus begins click after click of randomness on youtube.

The most ridiculously ‘irrelevant, yet strangely linked to sleep’ find of the week was the following article in the Telegraph presenting a wonderful opportunity for people who are able to sleep well.

I did let out an audible chuckle when I read this and wondered why I don’t discover job adverts like these and how many other (legal) ways there are to make easy money. That’s when several trains of thoughts all converged on the ‘Clapham Junction station in my mind’ and I set out to find just how many places in the UK will pay you to be part of medical research.

Before I reveal the details of my research, let state a few that it’s never something I’ve taken seriously. Living in the USA, I was always bombarded with adverts requesting me to donate my eggs to hapless couples.  The whopping $12,000 remuneration was very tempting but my genetic circumstances were never right. There are many political and economic reasons which render a country like America the perfect place to ‘harvest’ clinical participants with its astronomical medical fees and lack of social welfare. Lest I delve into a long rambling dissection of the American healthcare system, here is a list of my most interesting finds.

Turns out, with a few simple clicks you can locate a number of hospitals and quite a few pharmaceutical companies looking for participants. You can choose to be a part of research on sleep disorders, Asthma, even the common cold, with most offering healthy pay packets and comfortable accommodations for longer stays. Let me add this…there are many preconceptions about medical research.

The first being that all clinical trials are invasive and/or involve taking copious concoctions of  as yet unapproved medication. (Even if you were to participate in pharmaceutical research, all drugs must go through a thorough screening process before they are allowed to be tested on humans. Which is why we have animal testing, as unethical as it can be perceived as).

Secondly, there are factors which need considering. For example, how will the trial/research affect you in the long-term future? Will your health be compromised? To combat any effects of the research will you be lumbered with hefty medical bills? (More a question for those not living in a welfare state). Will the company conducting the tests retain responsibility for any damages?

Egg donation is the perfect scenario where young females may feel as if they are contributing something positive to society and earning money at the same time. A win-win situation you may say. But what about the psychological effects of the donation, as well as the side-effects of the hormones injected to induce ovulation? Are those worth a quick buck?

But enough of the morose. Let me point you in the direction of some (seemingly) positive centres. On a serious note, these are places that I found interesting at face-value. By no means have I conducted any scientific research of my own or experienced their facilities. The aim of this post is to get your thought processes working so you can go out and find somewhere that’s right for you (if you are considering participating in any such trial).

Flu Camp attracted my attention, only because it seems such a ludicrous name for something so steeped in scientific research.

The London Sleep Centre occasionally holds research projects which you can register interest in by emailing them.

Hammersmith Medicine Research facility  hold plenty of trials which you can apply to be a part of.

The majority of information available online appears to be located in London, which only adds to this country’s North/South divide, with many complaining that England is completely London-centric. However, with a pay packet of up to £2,000, it’s my thinking that it could be in anyone’s interest to make the trip into the capital.

How do you make the decision whether participating in a trial is something you would like to commit to? I’m pretty sure, despite the financial gains and your health, ethics are something to consider, along with the possibility of taking time off work. I can’t help but think I’m in the perfect position to take the plunge and experience something like this, with a distinct lack of monies in my account and a flexible schedule. I can just see it now…sitting in a starkly white room, faint smell of disinfectant in my nose, maybe a drip attached to my hand, hindering its ability to type my weekly blog post. Funny where the mind takes you!

Call it dedication to the cause, but as an inquisitive journalist, I may just go ahead and apply.


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