Paid clinical trials with Covance, what’s in it for you?

Paid clinical trials with Covance – what’s in it for you?

paid clinical trialsTucked into a discreet corner of the University of Leeds campus stands a renovated Georgian mansion. People from all walks of life come and stay here for anything from 2 -31 days at a time, playing computer games, taking strolls on the lawn and being fed 3 home-cooked meals per day. How much does this cost them? Nothing – in fact, they get paid from £100 per day to be there.

Tucked into a discreet corner of the University of Leeds campus stands a renovated Georgian mansion. People from all walks of life come and stay here for anything from 2 -31 days at a time, playing computer games, taking strolls on the lawn and being fed 3 home-cooked meals per day. How much does this cost them? Nothing – in fact, they get paid from £100 per day to be there.

How is this possible? Well, they’re volunteers in paid clinical trials, and the Georgian house is Covance’s clinical research unit.

But – hang on! Isn’t testing new drugs a bit dangerous?

Of course, there is some risk involved; but the safety of volunteers is of paramount importance to Covance. Before a study begins, the study drug must go through extensive lab testing, and an independent ethics board must give its approval for a trial to go ahead. Doctors and nurses are available around the clock, so in the very rare event of unexpected side-effects, our volunteers are in safe hands.

As a rule, the purpose of paid clinical trials is not to find out about side-effects, but to learn how a drug travels through the body, whether it is affected by other drugs and whether it is best taken on a full or an empty stomach. We often require volunteers to test drugs which are already licensed, and available from your GP or chemist.

So what sorts of things are tested at Covance?

In the last 12 months, we’ve tested treatments for a huge range of chronic and life-limiting conditions: from eczema to Alzheimer’s, from diabetes to depression. We’ve even started to test an increasing number of ‘nutraceuticals’; dietary supplements like omega fish oils and vitamins.

The medications we test can be administered as a cream, a tablet, a needle, or even an IV drip. However you receive the study drug, you will need blood tests at various points during the trial, so it’s important that our volunteers are not frightened of needles!

Who can take part in paid clinical trials?

Probably the best answer to this is ‘anyone with the inclination’! At Covance, the majority of our studies are what’s called ‘Phase 1 Trials’, meaning that drugs are tested in healthy adults. However, we do frequently have studies for people with conditions like eczema or diabetes, or who currently use medications like statins, so you don’t have to be the perfect picture of good health to get involved!

The criteria for every study are different. Sometimes we’ll get a study for men or women only, or for people whose BMI is within a certain range. Some studies are available to smokers whilst others aren’t. Many studies are open to ages 18 – 65, but we also regularly have studies specifically for ages 65 and over; we will begin to recruit volunteers for our next 65+ study shortly.

What’s in it for our volunteers?

By taking part in a clinical trial, you are helping us to provide hope for 1000s of patients. If you know anyone who is suffering with a chronic illness, this is a fantastic way to show your support for them!

The majority of our volunteers find our studies an enjoyable experience – 97% of our volunteers say that they would take part in further trials with us! We do all we can to ensure that our clinic is comfortable and relaxing. Our large recreation room is decked-out with Sky TV, games consoles, a pool table and arcade games. There’s a computer suite with WiFi internet access, and a quiet reading room if you’d rather just take a break from it all. The food is also fantastic (the same meals are served in the staff canteen as in the clinic), and the portion sizes are generous, too.

Lasting friendships are often formed in our clinic – particularly when volunteers meet on a long residential stay! People from all over the UK come on study with us, and people of all ages and from all walks of life find common ground here. It’s not unusual for some of our regular volunteers to come on a trial together and have a good catch-up in Leeds!

But for most of our volunteers, the biggest incentive to come on a clinical trial is the payment. The average volunteer payment is from £100 per day, with some of our longer stays paying over £4,000. And let’s be honest, it’s not often you can earn that by ‘volunteering’, is it?

If you have any queries about our clinical trials, or you’d like to register to take part, this link will take you to our website, where you can arrange a call from a member of our team. https://goo.gl/E26ZhE

Written by Simon Morris




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