Paid Clinical Trials: Pros and Cons of Paid Clinical Trials

Paid Clinical Trials: Pros and Cons of Paid Clinical Trials

Paid clinical trials are a great way to help medical professionals test new treatments and medications before they go to market. Being a participant of a clinical trial of course has its risks, but it also has advantages. Many people are hesitant to participate in clinical trials because of their safety concerns. Today, however, there are strong regulations in place to protect your health and privacy. As an industry leader, ObvioHealth set the standard for patient safety and experience.

If you’re considering participating in a clinical trial, read on to learn about the benefits and risks.

The Pros

To keep things positive, let’s start with the pros. There are numerous reasons why participating in a clinical trial is a good idea. We have managed to condense it down to just three. 

You Could be Among the First to Receive Groundbreaking Treatment

Medical research into various conditions is constantly developing. As part of a paid clinical trial, you will play an integral role in that research. You will help to discover, firsthand, how a cutting-edge drug affects the human body. It is exciting stuff!

If the treatment in question is approved for widespread use, you would quite literally be a part of history. Clinical research studies pave the way for modern medicine via the introduction of new drugs and treatments. Whether your participation is paid or volunteer, you can feel pride in knowing you have helped move medicine forward.

You Will be Paid

Perhaps the most obvious benefit associated with a paid clinical trial: the money. Medical research varies enormously, so exactly what you are rewarded with will depend on the specific study. Compensation can vary based on the number of subjects, the safety involved, and the associated risks.

In addition to the compensation for participation in the study, you could also be reimbursed for your travel expenses. Make sure the clinical research studies you investigate are genuinely paid, as many are made up of clinical trial volunteers. Volunteers don’t get paid, so if this is your primary motivation, make sure to read the small print.

Your Participation Could Save Lives in the Future

From an ethical perspective, this is perhaps the greatest pro that there could be. Your role in clinical studies could pave the way for future medical breakthroughs that could save the lives of thousands. Research participation is an integral component of new medicine. 

Of course, this isn’t a guarantee. There’s no promise that the drug you test out will go on to save lives, but does that matter? Even if the drug you test turns out to be ineffective, you have still helped to move medicine forward. That’s pretty exciting stuff. 

The Cons

So now that we have discussed the positives, let’s get into some of the cons. The reality of paid studies isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. You won’t necessarily be paving the way for new treatment, so it is important to bear the realities in mind before committing.

You Could Experience Negative Side Effects

One of the most common concerns relating to clinical trials is the risk of negative side effects. The whole purpose of testing new medicine is to see how effective they are when exposed to a wider population. It could just be the case that you react poorly to it.

Still, if you’re going to have negative side-effects anywhere, it may as well be during a clinical trial. You will be examined and monitored exceptionally closely, so any complications should be resolved quickly. The risk of negative side effects is partly why obtaining patient consent is such a crucial part of the trial process.

Paid Trials can Prove Inconvenient

Depending on your day-to-day schedule, attending a paid clinical trial can prove highly inconvenient. Some medical trials can last for days at a time as they test new treatments and monitor you for negative side effects. Having this much free time available isn’t applicable to many people.

In some cases, medical trials can last years. Of course, it is significantly unlikely that you will have to spend years within a medical facility, but it is still a large amount of time on a medication that your body may reject. Before committing to anything, make sure you have fully thought through how this decision will affect your current timetable. 

You Won’t Know Whether You’re Receiving a Placebo

The use of placebos is highly common within medical trials. If you aren’t aware, a ‘placebo’ is effectively a sugar pill or similar inoffensive solution that is used instead of the actual medication. Ordinarily, half of the trial group will be given the genuine medication whereas the other half are given the placebo.

This is done so that the medical professionals running the trial can compare the effects between the two groups. However, the nature of a placebo is that the participant doesn’t know whether what they have taken is the genuine medication or not. You will have no idea if what you have taken is the new treatment or simply a sugar pill.

NOTE: Not all studies make use of placebos, so again, it is worth double checking this information prior to signing up to a trial. 

Paid Clinical Trials: Are They Worth It?

The decision to embark on a medical trial is entirely your own. As we have demonstrated, there are numerous pros and cons associated with the process. New medicine requires consenting participants, so if you are comfortable with the associated risks, there is nothing stopping you from being a part of the process.