You have probably seen numerous television shows usually based in the United States showing people getting paid to undergo medical trials
But did you know that you can volunteer to undergo clinical trials or medical testing for money right here in Australia?
What are Clinical Trials?
Clinical Trials are a scientific study run by universities, hospitals, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies who wish to test their new treatments on humans in order to have their new treatment approved and readily available to the general public. These new medicines or procedures are designed to find new and better ways to prevent, treat or detect diseases.
Every single new medicine must undergo clinical trials before being approved for use in Australia.
All clinical trials are led by a medical team including a Doctor, Nurses, Pharmacist and other health care professionals. Some clinical trials involve overnight stays for a period of time in a medical facility. Some can take under an hour of your time.
Clinical Trials are used to test:
- New drugs not yet on the market
- Medical Devices
- New surgical treatments or procedures
- Preventative Health Care Services
Why would I want to be part of a Clinical Trial?
Clinical Trials are essential for new treatments or procedures to be tested properly in a controlled medical environment. If you suffer from a deliberating condition – there are some great advantages to participating in these trials. They include:
- You can get access to new medication not yet on the market
- You can get the new trial medication at no cost during the participation of the trial
- Expert medical care for your condition during the trial
- You can be helping others with the same condition
Some people do clinical trials for money. That’s okay too.
Are There Risks Involved in Participating in a Clinical Trial?
Absolutely. But we are lucky that here in Australia all clinical trials must conform to the Ethical Principles of the Declaration of Helsinki and to International Good Clinical Practice Guidelines. All trials must be approved by an independent ethics committee and run according to guidelines issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
Some of the risks can include:
- Side effects from the trial medicine or procedure
- You may be placed on the ‘placebo’ or control group and not actually receive the trial medicine
- The medication may not work for your condition – or not work at all
Before participating in any trials, the Study Doctor will discuss the upcoming trial with you including information and addressing any of your concerns. Before the trial commences, they will give you a thorough medical examination including blood tests, blood pressure etc to ensure you are a good candidate.
All trials are completely voluntary.
Do I Have to be Healthy or Sick to be Involved in a Clinical Trial?
Well, both! There are clinical trials that require their volunteers to be healthy specimens on no medication and in good physical health. Other trials will require you to have a diagnosis for the condition they are trying to treat.
When registering for a clinical trial they will ask you questions about your health or condition.
How Much Do They Pay?
Well, that depends on what trial you do, the duration of your services and the work involved by the participants. According to the Herald Sun, students can receive up to $300 per night and in extended trials that go for 25 – 30 days, you can expect $12,000 at some facilities.
An example of the reimbursements for some clinical trials in Australia
How Do I Go About Applying to be in a Clinical Trial?
We have found the following companies that advertise for participants in clinical trials:
1. Nucleus Network:
- Pays up to $360 per day
- Available in Melbourne and Brisbane
- They pay for your accommodation and food during the trial
- If you put the referee as Stay at Home Mum.com.au – we donate 100% of that money to the Gympie Men’s Shed.
2. Griffith University Clinical Trials:
Griffith University advertises its upcoming clinical trials, but the great thing is that when you register – they will email you if you meet the eligibility criteria for the trial.
3. Scientia Clinical Research
By participating you will be:
- advancing the development of new medicines
- meeting new people and making new friends
- staying in the comfort of our brand new participant unit
- catered for during your stay, with meals, internet and entertainment provided
4. CMAX Clinical Research
Help the clinical research team turn medical innovations into safe, effective treatments that will change and save lives. Enjoy the clinic’s recreational facilities, including free wifi, meals and entertainment, and get reimbursed for volunteering your time.
Every volunteer has to provide consent, go through medical questions specific to the trial, is assessed by a qualified doctor and goes through extensive medical examinations to make sure it is safe for them to participate.
6. Metro North Hospital and Health Service Qld
Clinical trials test new treatments to find better ways to prevent, detect or treat disease. Both healthy people and people with a disease or condition can volunteer to be part of a trial.
Cancer Care Services participate in a range of clinical trials at these hospitals.
7. Optimus Clinical Research
Currently recruiting for these trials:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Axial Spondyloarthritis
- Giant Cell Arteritis
- Polymyalgia Rheumatica
8. Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Garvan are currently running trials for a plethora of diseases, including diabetes, breast cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and molecular screening.
Find out more about their current clinical trials, including mother and infant attachment, child car seats and brain development in children.