A clinical study with compensation focuses on paying individual for participating in their trials. This helps study teams to more quickly drive interest around a trial, and also helps to ensure that clinical trial participants subsist through the entire trial. Some clinical trials with compensation also recruit healthy volunteers, those with no specific diagnosis or special medical needs. Which volunteers are needed for which study depends on the study’s goals. Nobody qualifies for every study, but through effective upfront communication with the study team most participants can quickly learn whether or not they are a good fit for an observational study or investigational treatment.
Compensation for research studies is a hot topic for both participants and organizers. Not all clinical trials with compensation fit everyone, but the right trial can help participants defray their costs and earn some money – anywhere from just $10 for a single visit to multiple thousands for longer studies.
Each clinical trial responds to diverse needs, so there’s no way of knowing precisely how much any given study will offer in compensation. With that said, there are a few basic facts you should know as you do research and decide whether participating in a trial focused on an investigational drug or treatment plan is the right fit for you.
Compensation for clinical trials varies widely. It can range anywhere from below $100 to thousands of dollars for qualified participants. Compensation generally scales with the length and complexity of the trial, with individuals participating in the entire study maximizing their compensation. The shorter a clinical research study, the lower the amount of compensation offered, just as with research studies in other fields.
When you are cleared to participate in a research study, you will usually have any direct costs related to the study covered by the presiding company or organization. For example, you will not need to pay for a treatment given to you as part of a research study, and it does not matter if you have insurance.
Depending on the structure of the study, you may or may not qualify to have certain indirect expenses paid for. The most common indirect expense is travel. If you need to travel a long way from your home to a laboratory facility, you can often submit receipts for gas or other expenses for reimbursement.
Reimbursements are generally processed soon after they are received. On the other hand, if you’ve been offered a flat sum for your participation in the study, you will usually only receive it at a certain point in the study or after specific conditions are met.
These “conditions” usually relate to the length of the study. For example, a study that’s intended to run for a year might compensate volunteers every three months. This recognizes the fact that even some of the volunteers who qualify will not necessarily stay with the study for its entire duration.
There’s no way of knowing exactly how much any given trial will provide in compensation until you contact the study sponsor. In order to make sure that you are a good fit for the trial, there will be a thorough screening process that makes sure you are a good fit, pass the exclusion criteria, and will complete the trial. As a general guideline, though, more complex clinical trials provide more compensation.
Many clinical trials have only a few basic requirements. As long as you meet the exclusion criteria, all you need to do is take the medical treatments as directed and occasionally get blood tests or other laboratory tests. But sometimes, researchers will need more information from you or will be in contact more frequently with the study physician or research team.
For instance, you might be asked to maintain a “clinical trial diary” that gives greater insight into how a condition responds at different times after treatment. This is an example of something the study research staff might figure into their calculations when determining compensation.
In a word, no. A clinical trial will not offer its volunteers more or less money based on whether or not the research was successful, but rather fully participating in studies should aware you with the full compensation package. In fact, it might be months or even years before anyone can say with full certainty whether a study had the results the sponsor hoped for.
While you’re never responsible for the outcome of a study, your level of participation is definitely a factor. If you accidentally fail to follow instructions (on treatment dosage or timing, for example) it potentially invalidates your data, which may preclude compensation.
Most clinical trials with compensation advertise that compensation is available. However, a study sponsor might be legally limited in how much information they can publicize. Once it’s been verified that you match the required volunteer profile, you will receive written documentation of compensation and requirements. In some situations, an annual trial compensation package might be appropriate based on the types of interventions or medical treatments being tested.
Compensation for clinical trials makes it easier and more accessible to be a part of important medical research. Your decision to participate could help people all around the world that you will never meet, and help study drugs and treatment get out to market more quickly.
Most studies, especially ones that focus on healthy volunteers, have various locations and can even be ran in multiple countries. While technology is still being developed to allow participants to remotely participate in clinical trials, generally most study teams and study sponsors still require clinical trial participants to meet in-person based on the study design during the trial to check in on the progress of a treatment. Most major cities in the United States will offer some clinical trials that offer financial compensation and studies with locations near you.