What Are Clinical Trials And Why Should You Get Involved?

Many people mistakenly believe that clinical trials can only accept volunteers who are suffering from the ailment that the treatment being tested is intended to alleviate. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Almost anyone can volunteer to take part in a clinical trial. Not only do volunteers get to participate in the advancement of modern medicine, and play a part in the development of a treatment which could potentially improve the lives of millions of people, they also get paid quite well just for taking part. A recent study carried out by Covance Leeds showed that between January and June of 2012, their volunteers were paid between £500 and £3000 for each trial they took part in.

The Bad Bits
Before we go any further, let me point out that taking part in a clinical trial is not for everyone. Those of you with needle phobia may want to click the back button now, since taking part in a trial invariable involves giving samples of blood. Often trials place restrictions on nicotine intake or prohibit smoking altogether which can be a problem for heavy smokers, and alcohol is expressly forbidden during the trial since it can affect the metabolization of the treatment and skew the study results. You may also be prevented from taking part if you are currently taking prescribed drugs or are in poor health. Negative points aside, taking part in a trial is a rewarding experience.

Free Health Test
Every volunteer undergoes a free and comprehensive health check before being accepted to take part in a clinical trial. To a large number participants aged over 55, who were questioned regarding the most beneficial aspect of volunteering, the free health check provided them with a peace of mind, which was brought about by knowing that they are physically well. It was therefore perceived by many to be a primary motivational factor for taking part in further trials. Even the fact that they were receiving up to £3000 for participating was not deemed to be as beneficial as the free health check to a high percentage of the elderly volunteers who took part in this survey.

Recreation And Relaxation
Many volunteers see taking part in a clinical trial as an opportunity to socialise with other people of their own age and to make new friends. Whilst there is a pretty busy schedule on clinical trials, there remains plenty of opportunity to relax and benefit from the recreational amenities on offer. Covance CRU (clinical research unit) is located in beautiful grounds, within a grade two listed building. The food is excellent and they provide a range of recreational amenities including a pool table, games consoles, a library, and internet access.

Feel Good Factor
Many volunteers take part in clinical trials because they want to get involved in improving the available treatments for a condition that is close to their heart. This could be because a friend or loved one is suffering from that particular condition. Other people get involved simply because they recognize that their participation could have a positive impact on the lives of millions of other people, what ever the reason. There is no denying that helping others can leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling!

Get Paid For Taking Part
Obviously the fact that volunteers are paid up to £3000 for taking part in a trial is a major motivational factor for some people. Volunteering can be a great way to earn a bit of extra cash, or to treat yourself to that Caribbean holiday that you have been promising yourself. In fact some people actually earn around £9000 a year just by taking part in clinical trials.

How Do I Get Involved ?
Its easy, there is a constant demand for volunteers and getting involved is as simple as visiting the Covance website and browsing the list of available studies. Once you find a suitable study simply make a note of the number and either apply online or pick up the phone. You will notice that some trials require volunteers of a certain age group or sex, whilst other trials are less restrictive about who can volunteer.

This article was written by Nick Davison for Covance Leeds, to browse a list of the available studies that Covance are currently recruiting for click here. Covance are situated in Leeds city centre, West Yorkshire. If you live outside the Yorkshire area it is worth noting that we also reimburse volunteers travel costs up to a maximum of £100. For more information call 0800 394 5200.