How You Can Make Money And Help Advance Medications Through The Clinical Research Process
There are several stages in between the ideation stage and the final product stage for medications. Many of these stages involve clinical trials to prove that the medicines are not harmful and are, in fact, helpful. Even over-the-counter medicines require clinical trials before the FDA can approve them. If you are interested in how you can make a lot of money and help progress these medicines into the mainstream market to help others, you can sign up for one of these three clinical trial stages.
Stage 1: First Clinical Trial with Possible Side Effects (Pays the Most Money)
In this stage, you are paid a lot of money as a test subject to subject yourself to the medicine given. You may also be a control subject, which means that you are paid the same as the test subjects, but instead of the medicine, you are given a placebo. You must be in near-perfect physical health and you cannot be on any other medications. This is how the researchers are able to discover if there are any side effects on healthy individuals and tweaks the chemical makeup of the medicine before trying it out on less healthy individuals. The possibility of an extreme reaction and frequent outpatient visits to draw blood are why you get paid hundreds to thousands of dollars for the study.
Stage 2: Testing Medicines for Effectiveness (Still Paid Well, but Not as Much as Stage 1 Trials)
In this stage of clinical trials, the researchers want test subjects who are not overweight (unless the medicine is for treating obesity) and who have the medical condition for which they are testing a medicine. If you are already on a medication, they may refuse you because they do not want an interaction between the test medicine and your medicine to interfere with their results. However, if you just discovered that you have the condition they specify or you have never taken medication for it, they may accept you and pay you for your time. (You are paid slightly less for your time because the researchers have already eliminated some of the problems from the Stage 1 Trials.)
Stage 3: Testing to See If It Offers Something More than What Already Exists on the Market
Since there are already dozens of medications that treat this disease or that, researchers want to know if a new medicine is even better at treating a certain illness than anything else currently available. This is also the stage where they might discover alternate uses for the new medicine, in which case they will hold Stage 4 clinical trials. Usually, the test subjects have to have the disease or disorder or be healthy control subjects before they can be admitted to the study. It limits your ability to aid in testing at this point, unless you are selected as a control subject or you have a doctor's permission to enter the trial, and this stage is paid the least.
Ongoing Trials and Same Test Subjects
Sometimes a medical research facility likes to have continuous data from the same test subjects in order to rule out certain variables. If you enroll in such a study, the researchers may request that you see the study through to the end. This may include a Stage 4 to see if there are any other uses for the medicine they are developing. You may receive payment after each stage, or you may have to wait until the entire set of stages is complete, which could take two years or more. Still, it is a lot of money, and you would be contributing a lot to medical science for volunteering your body and your time.