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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How to Earn Money by Medical Test and Research: My Personal Volunteering Income Experience

By Anthony Verudas

I first found out about the possibility to get paid for medical testing when I hada summer job as a punt chauffeur. I had just finished my university degree and like almost all students and recent graduates I was burdened with student debt and looking for ways to supplement my income.

I found out that some of the chaps who I was working with were volunteering for drug trials for money being run at a nearby drug testing research centre. They told me that it was possible to make hundreds if not thousands of pounds for each paid medical trial that you took part in. It sounded almost too good to be true but I was determined to find out for myself.

I found out how to contact the places conducting these medical research trials so that I could be sent the necessary forms. I received the application forms that I needed to fill in and was almost put off by all the questions they asked but then I remembered the money I could be making. The forms needed my medical history and health details filled in as well as the name and address of my local doctor. I had to consent to them being contacted to get hold of my medical records. The information is necessary for the doctors at the clinical research units so that they can be sure you don't have any health conditions that could be a problem if you took part in a drug trial.

Having supplied all this information and sent it back in the post I then waited to hear back from them. I actually applied to a couple of different research centres (you can apply to as many as you want) and once they had processed my details I was invited for a comprehensive medical screening at their respective research units.

I was subjected to numerous blood tests (don't take part in medical trials if you are afraid of needles!), had a heart monitor attached to me and at one unit they went as far as testing my eye sight, lung capacity and eye pressure (high eye pressure is one warning sign of glaucoma). All of the tests were to make sure that I was in good health and didn't have any undiagnosed problems that could be an issue if I took part in the drug trials. It was reassuring to know that I was getting the kind of free health check you would never normally expect to receive (especially at my age) unless they thought there was something really wrong with you!

One of the research units rejected me on the basis that my eye pressure was too high. The other unit didn't even measure this and they accepted me on to their volunteer panel on the basis of my medical results.

Having been accepted I waited eagerly for the details to be sent through of the first trial that I could volunteer for. When it finally arrived, it detailed the drug being tested, the possible side effects, the length of the trial and the number of visits to the clinical research unit that would be required and (of the most interest to me) the financial compensation that would be paid for taking part (let's face it, no one does these trials out of a desire to further medical science, they do them for the money!).

Even though I had undergone a medical check up to be accepted as a volunteer you still have to go through another one before each trial that you volunteer for. Despite being sent the details of this trial and going for the medical I was subsequently rejected based on my prior medical history. I don't remember whether it was an allergy that I had or an existing medical condition but they decided that something like that meant I couldn't take part. This actually happened to me several times, being sent details of trials, going for a screening then being told the same thing - I couldn't take part because of my medical history. I got very frustrated by this as I felt they were wasting my time sending me details of trials if they knew from my records that they were going to reject me and after this happened a few times I complained.

I'm not sure how it happened, whether it was a change in their criteria or something else but I was finally accepted onto my first trial. The first one I did only paid around 600 and involved no overnight stays but it was the first of many that I have done, earning me thousands of pounds over a number of years.

Along the lines (having finally been successful with one medical research unit) I reapplied to the other one. The second time around I didn't have any problems with anything and I was accepted there as a volunteer as well. My persistence and stubbornness had paid off.

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