If you’re interested in participating in clinical research, good for you! You probably have some idea of what you want to participate in, given that most participants are often pretty ill. Maybe you don’t know how to find the right company to work with, though — it’s not like there’s a Yelp for clinical research!
The first thing you want to do is go in and talk to the doctors and other people working with the company. You want to make sure that they’re valid, and they should welcome the chance to talk to a possible participant and find out what’s on their mind. If you have a bad feeling during this encounter, or you can’t get anyone in the company to talk to you, then that’s a sign you shouldn’t get involved with them. Pay attention to the kind of reputation they have, and ask about previous studies that they’ve done.
Secondly, ask about costs. Study expenses can get pretty high, and depending on the study, some of these expenses may fall on you. For example, will you have to put work on pause to participate, or will you be able to balance both? Who will be in charge of your care while the study is on-going, or will you have to keep seeing your primary care provider? The company should be able to tell you who is bankrolling the study, and how they plan to help you financially during the length of the study.
There are a lot of questions you’ll have to ask, because while you’re helping the future of medicine flourish, it’s still your body that’s involved and that you’re potentially putting at risk. Everyone wants the treatment to be 100% safe from the get-go, but no one knows; hence the trial. A good clinical research company will not be scared away by your questions and will hopefully anticipate them.