7 things every clinical trial volunteer should know
Many new clinical trial volunteers are often unaware of certain elements involved in BioPharma Services paid trials before their initial participation. Some of these elements include benefits that only end up only being taken advantage of by those who knew some of the tips described below. So why not share them right away with you and improve your stay?
Based on comments we hear from new clinical trial volunteers during various stages of the process, we will highlight 7 things they wish they knew before participating in a clinical study with BioPharma Services.
Get ready to take note of these tips and make the most out of your volunteering experience with us!
1. Your Contribution to Research
Clinical trials have been revolutionizing modern medicine since the 18th century, bringing us life-saving drugs and therapies. As clinical trials evolved, they became safer, more efficient, and have led to many groundbreaking discoveries. However, none of these discoveries would have been possible without the invaluable contribution of volunteers (just like yourself!). Volunteers are to be commended for their altruism.
Before becoming a volunteer, you should know the impact that your contributions have. With the help of our volunteers, we have been able to provide clinical research information to progress therapies for many diseases.
Without volunteers, we would not have the life-saving medicines we have available today. The time you spend volunteering now can help your loved ones in the future — in essence, taking part in a trial, you’ll become a Medical Hero.
2. Health Benefits
If you’re a regular clinical trial volunteer, you’ll be receiving regular medical health checks. When participating in our clinical trials, you are given a medical screening to ensure it is safe, and you are healthy to participate.
While the study is being conducted, you are monitored to ensure your health is where it needs to be to continue your participation in the trial and that you are safe. These check-ups ensure that your health is closely monitored and allows any potential issues to be caught early on.
Our clinical trial volunteers who actively participate in studies undergo medical check-ups and assessments frequently throughout the year. This way, they will have access to comprehensive medical care. If anything changes, a professional will contact them to advise undergoing medical check-ups and assessments frequently throughout the year.
3. Community Building
Although some may wrongly view clinical trials as isolated and lonely experiences, most clinical trial volunteers would argue otherwise. It is not uncommon to hear about volunteers who became friends after participating in a trial together.
Clinical trials can inspire a strong sense of belonging and connections among participants. Sharing the experience of the trial often helps volunteers to form strong bonds with one another.
When you participate in a study with us, you’ll generally be a part of a larger group of volunteers. Here, you’ll be able to meet new people from all walks of life. Our volunteers have built lasting friendships and found a sense of community, all while achieving the same objective; helping with medical research!
4. Referral Program
At BioPharma Services, we have created a referral program to thank our existing participants who help us find new potential volunteers.
If you can’t participate in a specific study but know someone who could benefit or be interested in doing clinical trials with us, you can be compensated for the referral! Each study has a different compensation for Referrals, you can always check the current referral rate on our Volunteer Hub or by calling one of our friendly recruiters.
Your referral simply needs to call our recruitment line and register. When asked how they heard about us, they need to provide your name, so we can create a link to your file. Some of our volunteers have even come along with their friends and family to participate in a trial together.
There are several steps to guarantee your safety as much as possible during study participation. First, it’s important to note that, prior to its conducting, each trial must be submitted and approved by IRB (Canadian Institutional Review Board) or FDA (Food and Drug Administration). They exist to ensure the study is safe to be conducted.
After this initial measure, the study may proceed. During your visits to BioPharma Services, you can rest assured you will be taken care of. Prior to your participation, you will have a telephone screening appointment to confirm that you qualify. You’ll then be booked for a medical screening. Depending on the study requirements, our typical tests include an urinalysis, blood draw, vitals check and a physical examination. Once we have received your lab results, the Doctor will also review them and confirm if you are in good health to participate. This process ensures your absolute safety, prior to the trial dosing.
After passing this safety measure and receiving clearance from the doctor, you will be invited to participate in the study as a volunteer. During the conduct of the study, you will be closely monitored by professionally trained staff and doctors, which means frequent vital checks and blood draws. A staff member will be available around the clock to help if needed.
6. How to always stay informed about our studies
Many of our clinical trial volunteers wish they could always know when there’s a new study for which they may be eligible. In reality, there are many ways to do that!
We give our volunteers different channels to discover which studies are ongoing. The easiest way to start getting study notifications is by registering on our website. Volunteers who sign up on our website receive regular emails and text messages with information about our studies. Of course, if you decided you’re not interested anymore, you can conveniently unsubscribe from our email and text service to discontinue receiving our updates.
Another method to stay up to date is by frequently checking our Volunteer Hub. There you’ll find all the studies for which we’re currently recruiting at BioPharma Services, commonly with details such as compensation, schedule and eligibility criteria.
Clinical trial volunteers can also opt to contact us via phone and inquire about trials available. Via phone, you can also register to receive text messages and emails. Our recruitment lines, reachable at (416) 747-5246 (Canada) or (314) 528-2220 (USA), are operational from Monday to Saturday, between 8:00 am to 8:00 pm (EST).
7. What to expect from overnight stays
Every study has its own criteria, schedule, procedures and specific rules to follow. For a general idea of what overnight stays are normally like, continue reading.
There are certain times you need to be sitting, eating, drinking, standing and in bed. Each study requires certain time points for each activity. Blood draws and vitals will be taken frequently throughout your stay. This is to ensure your safety and to collect the data required for the success of the study.
For entertainment, the clinic offers a communal TV, board games and books. You are free to bring any form of entertainment, such as your phone, laptop, iPads, books, games, etc. However, remember that large entertainment devices such as video game consoles or TVs cannot be brought into the clinic. It’s also important to note that entertainment does take a backseat to study procedures.
You should be aware that washrooms, showers, and sleeping arrangements are shared spaces. You will be frequently speaking to staff who are on hand to ensure you are safe and compliant with the study procedures. You have to be willing to interact and work with the staff for the study’s success.
At BioPharma Services, we strive to provide a hospitable, informative environment for every clinical trial volunteer. However, there are always novel insights and tips to be learned when you participate in a trial. Providing you with some of those in a comprehensible form is one of the many ways we have to make your experience with us a positive one. After all, without your help and your volunteer time, we could not do the work we do!
Learn more now by signing up on our website to stay up-to-date with our studies and gain more knowledge that we provide exclusively to our volunteers. Once you do sign up, one of our friendly recruiters will get in touch with you to provide more details.
Keeping our clinical trial volunteers well-informed is a high priority for us. We hope this blog post answers some questions for you, and we hope to see you soon!
Written by Jenny Quintanilla, Recruitment Manager at BioPharma Services.
BioPharma Services, Inc., a Think Research Corporation and clinical trial services company, is a full-service Contract Clinical Research Organization (CRO) based in Toronto, Canada, specializing in Phase 1 clinical trials 1/2a and Bioequivalence clinical trials for international pharmaceutical companies worldwide. BioPharma has clinical facilities both in the USA and Canada with access to healthy volunteers and special populations.