Paid Medical Studies

July 23, 2012 · Posted in Home business 

I first found out about the possibility to get paid for medical testing when I had a summer job as a punt chauffeur. I had just finished my university degree and like almost all students and recent graduates I was burdened with student debt and looking for ways to supplement my income.

A few of the people I worked with informed me about the fact that they were getting paid lots of money for volunteering for paid drug trials at local medical research centres. When I found out that it was possible to earn several thousand pounds for each trial that you took part in it sounded like a golden opportunity.

I obtained the contact details of the research centres from my friends and requested an application form. I wasn’t expecting to get a whole pack full of forms back and this was a little daunting at first, until I thought about the money that I could be making. There were questions about my health, the medical history of my family and any allergic reactions that I was known to have had as well as a form to provide my consent for the research doctors to contact my family doctor to obtain my medical history. Whilst this might seem like somewhat of an invasion of privacy it is absolutely necessary to ensure the safety of the volunteers by making sure they don’t have any medical conditions that could make it dangerous for them to take part in medical testing.

I filled in the forms, providing all of the details requested, put them in an envelope and posted them back to the research unit. There were actually not one but two research centres in the area where I lived at the time, so I applied to both of them in the hope of increasing my chances (you can apply to as many as you want). Having received the forms and processed the information they asked me to visit their facilities to have a full medical check up.

The tests involved measuring obvious things like height and weight, blood tests for kidney and liver function, measuring resting heart rate and blood pressure. The kind of metrics that they used to make sure I was within the criteria they regarded as being healthy. Even if I wasn’t successful with my application, at least I was getting a full health check up, the likes of which would have been very expensive to get done otherwise.

One of the research units rejected me on the basis that my eye pressure was too high. The other unit didn’t even measure this and they accepted me on to their volunteer panel on the basis of my medical results.

Now that I had successfully applied to be a volunteer I waited patiently to be sent information about the drug testing trials that I could take part in. The first one I got (they are all like this usually) contained information about the drug being tested, how long the trial would take, the dates when it was taking place, how many times I would have to visit the centre and how long (if at all) the overnight stays would be, the known or expected side effects of the drug and (most important to me and I imagine most other people who volunteer for these trials) the amount of money that I would get paid if I was accepted as a volunteer for that trial.

Even though I had undergone a medical check up to be accepted as a volunteer you still have to go through another one before each trial that you volunteer for. Despite being sent the details of this trial and going for the medical I was subsequently rejected based on my prior medical history. I don’t remember whether it was an allergy that I had or an existing medical condition but they decided that something like that meant I couldn’t take part. This actually happened to me several times, being sent details of trials, going for a screening then being told the same thing – I couldn’t take part because of my medical history. I got very frustrated by this as I felt they were wasting my time sending me details of trials if they knew from my records that they were going to reject me and after this happened a few times I complained.

Something must have changed over the years because eventually I was successful in getting accepted onto a trial. It didn’t involve any overnight stays and it wasn’t a new drug being tested so perhaps that’s what made the difference. Anyway, it felt like a victory to me, I got paid over 500 for taking part and more importantly than that after that I wasn’t rejected for any more of the trials I applied for, allowing me to take part in several more and make lots of money over the next few years.

Along the lines (having finally been successful with one medical research unit) I reapplied to the other one. The second time around I didn’t have any problems with anything and I was accepted there as a volunteer as well. My persistence and stubbornness had paid off.

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