What to Expect From a Clinical Trial

By Ashley Lenahan on July 3, 2017

For those interested in the chance to make some extra cash as well as further the study of medicine, participation in a clinical trial can serve as an excellent choice. Though, as such trials can entail a strenuous process, the following list details the steps to anticipate from the procedure.

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1. The application

The first step to participating in a clinical trial is to complete an online application. While such an application is typically only a few pages in length, it can take a great deal of time to finish as it requires information that pertains to your personal history and medical records.

The required account of your medical history may include information that is difficult to remember. For instance, the specific date or year of a childhood surgery. Yet, it is important that you answer all application questions with as much accuracy as possible, even if you must consult your doctor or medical facility to reference their records.

If any information listed on your application is found to be false, whether accidental or intentional, it may affect your ability to take part in any of a company’s current or future clinical trials.

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2. The selection process

Once your application has been checked by the company’s representatives, you can expect to be contacted and asked to take part in a selection process. Such a process is often achieved through multiple meetings on a single, specified date in which tests will be performed to confirm that you are indeed a feasible candidate for participation in the trial.

The exact testing will vary depending on the precise factors of the chosen trial, yet most require that you allow your BMI to be calculated and that you submit blood and urine samples. These samples will be tested for any signs of drug use, disease, or pregnancy.

You will likely also be asked to avoid the consumption of certain substances, including alcohol, caffeine, and high-sodium products, for up to 48 hours prior to the time of testing.

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3. The call-backs

If you pass the selection process, you are not automatically accepted into the trial. Rather, you must first contact the company at a determined time and number that will be listed on the paperwork given during the selection process.

During this so-called ‘call-back,’ you will confirm that you have reviewed the paperwork and would still like to participate in the trial.

Many individuals forget about this step or simply don’t know that it is necessary as they do not thoroughly read their paperwork. Yet, this is a time in which it can pay (literally) to be fully-informed as well as punctual given that if you do not call at all or even call later than the specified time, you could miss out on the chance to be included in the trial.

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4. The trial itself

After investing much time into the application, selection process and call-backs, your work is not yet done: you still have the trial itself.

While the precise duration and restrictions of the trial will vary by study, there are certain things you can expect to be prohibited regardless.

This includes the consumption of food or drink (aside from water) outside of what is given to participants during the allotted meal times as the varied food intake of participants could alter the study’s results. This restriction, although based on sound reasoning, can be difficult for those of us who like to snack frequently to endure.

As a participant, you will also be prohibited from leaving the study site during the duration of the trial. Therefore, it is important that you bring any desired sources of entertainment, including electronic gadgets and their chargers, upon arrival.  It would also be wise to have a trusted friend or family member on-hand who can bring you any items that you may forget.

Important Things to Consider:

While participating in a clinical trial may serve as a great way to acquire some much-needed cash, it can also pose a risk to your health. For this reason, it is vital that you review all the information included in your paperwork about the possible side-effects and long-term health consequences of the drug or other substance that is being tested.

Any questions that you may have pertaining to medical concerns can typically be answered by representatives of the company responsible for the trial. Yet, you could also consult a trusted health professional about the received medical information if you feel that an additional opinion would be beneficial.

If you find the potential threat to your health to be of low-risk or to a degree that you are willing to accept, then a clinical trial can serve as a superb means to benefit your wallet and the advancement of medicine.

Hey all! I'm Ashley, an avid reader and writer, travel junkie and coffee enthusiast. As I plan to obtain credentials in Professional Writing, Creative Writing and Screen Writing, I will likely be in school for the rest of my life.

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