A paid clinical trial can be defined in two different ways. Most often it refers to the payment of participants or volunteers in the trial, and there are many clinical trials where, conversely, people are strict volunteers, receive no form of wage, but might not pay any costs of medical care associated with the experiment. The other form of experiment deemed a paid clinical trial could be one where drug or medical device companies make some payment to hospitals/researchers conducting the experiment. This is considered by some medical ethicists to be a dangerous practice.
In a number of large cities, especially those with teaching and research hospitals, there are many experiments going on, virtually every day. Participation in these experiments may be competitive, especially if a drug or treatment has the potential to alleviate the symptoms of a serious disease. People with diseases for which a new treatment has been developed are often eager to participate in a trial. It may give them access to a treatment unavailable elsewhere, which could help cure an illness or extend life. These trials are unpaid in most circumstances since there is potential benefit in receiving the treatment, though there is no guarantee a trial participant gets the treatment and not a placebo.
Other forms of experiments don’t have people lining up, and they hazard unknown risk without possibly offering any form or short-term medical benefits. In these instances, the experiment often becomes a paid clinical trial. People might test safety of a drug by taking it, be evaluated for certain effects of a variety of therapies, and/or be tested for other features of a certain treatment. Money in a paid clinical trial serves as inducement for people to participate, and they might make about $100 US Dollars (USD) for a single day’s participation.
These trials don’t take all people who want to participate. They still eliminate people based on characteristics they don’t want to test or on presence of other health conditions that may skew results. The payment may be a little deceptive, as it might not be a daily rate but a whole experiment rate. Some experiments can last much longer than a day. Another important consideration is the potential for negative impact on health. People are generally advised to consult a private physician prior to entering into any paid clinical trial.
Should people decide a paid clinical trial is worth it, they then need to work on being scrupulously honest with experimenters. Obscuring facts regarding behavior or health history can be very damaging to results, and could potentially pose danger when wider non-paid trials are conducted. Most people will sign some form of contract specifying type of behavior expected when the experiment is underway.
If participating in a trial is interesting, or if people want to be in another trial, there are very often clearinghouse websites available by city, state or region that help people find other trials in which to participate, too. It should be noted that participation in one trial could mean excluded from some others.
The other paid clinical trial refers to experiments conducted with payment from a drug or device company. The ethics of this have frequently been called into question and many feel true science should be without influence. There is a perceived influence if any form of reciprocal relationship exists between a company wanting testing and a scientist performing that test. Though clearly many clinical trials have this established relationship and results are untainted by it, it remains a concern that researchers could falsify or skew results in order to preserve an economically favorable relationship.