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Drug trials

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I searched the forum but couldn't find anything about them, I may have the terminology wrong.
After hearing about the 6 guys that developed multiple organ failure due to certain drug trials, it reminded me of a friend who went one a few a year ago and made quite a bit of money from it.
It's quite fanciable, $ for something that does relatively little harm (I know what I said earlier, but it seems rare). I'm an 18 year old student, don't drink, don't smoke and am in pretty good physical condition and have had no diagnosis of a mental disorder - would I make a good participant?
What do you think about them? Any past experiences?
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    do you live in the uk? theres one company that used to get advertised on the radio quite a lot. i can't remember the name but i'm sure if you googled you would find something. it depends on what drug they are trialling, some want people with certain medical conditions and some want totally healthy people. i think you just sign up and then they contact you if you are suitable.

    my friend did one a couple of years ago where she had to put a disinfectant cream on her hands about 6 times a day. it stunk! can't remember how mcuh she got for it though.

    also, about those 6 guys.. its so awful. apparently theyre all young men and doctors have said that they could die at any moment. how lucky would you be feeling now if you were one of the 2 who got the placebo.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i wouldn't touch it with a barge pole!!!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    .
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Is there a difference in the stage of development of the drug between the trials that pay you, and the ones that people do for free? Cos I got sent some info from an arthritis charity not long ago asking whether I'd take part in some kind of study for rheumatoid arthritis, which would involve trying a new drug and having regular tests and stuff. But I'm sure that was just voluntary. Is that because there was a chance the drug could benefit your condition? Or would it be because the drug was at a later stage of development and so was less likely to be dangerous? Just curious :chin:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Tates wrote:
    Is there a difference in the stage of development of the drug between the trials that pay you, and the ones that people do for free? Cos I got sent some info from an arthritis charity not long ago asking whether I'd take part in some kind of study for rheumatoid arthritis, which would involve trying a new drug and having regular tests and stuff. But I'm sure that was just voluntary. Is that because there was a chance the drug could benefit your condition? Or would it be because the drug was at a later stage of development and so was less likely to be dangerous? Just curious :chin:

    The first stage is to test the basic effects of the drug, and this stage uses members of the public and pays them for it. It only uses tiny amounts of the drug from what I was told.

    The other type is to test the effectiveness of a drug on the illness it's suposed to treat. For that they'd use patients with the condition. But as far as I know they would still get paid, as they are still taking a risk? Perhaps it depends how far along the trial the drug is. Maybe ones that are close to being licensed, and hence more likely to benefit you, wouldn't pay the volunteers. But I don't know... :chin:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But as far as I know they would still get paid, as they are still taking a risk? Perhaps it depends how far along the trial the drug is. Maybe ones that are close to being licensed, and hence more likely to benefit you, wouldn't pay the volunteers. But I don't know... :chin:

    Hmmm, I'm intrigued now! I'm sure that they said they would pay transport costs for getting to the hospital, but don't remember anything else being mentioned
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200603/s1592761.htm

    The uni of Westminster Harrow campus is just next door to that hospital.

    I'm a bit shocked any uni would have such people on their campus in the first place promoting clinical studies.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    if you live in london there are quite a few different companies at different hospitals that do these trials. you could try searching on the internet, or quite a few of them advertise in tnt magazine (magazine for antipodeans living in london, found free at a lot of tube stations, comes out on mondays).

    My ex b/f has done 3 of these trials and i know quite a few others who have done them too. some look for people with certain conditions (asthma is a common one) but most look for healthy males aged 18-35.

    They usually pay your travel to the trial, you get fed while you are there (obviously) and the pay for participating is really quite good (my ex b/f once got £1500 for 3 weekends!), but personally i think it should be for the risk you are taking. It is really horrible to hear about what happened to those guys this week :(
    also bear in mind that for the length of the trial and until the follow up appointments, you might have to stay on some special diet they set for you or almost definitely wont be able to smoke or drink.

    if you really wanna do it, do some research into it and give them a call and chat about it, i am sure they will be ready to give you any information or reassurance (and if they are not, i wouldnt wanna have them sticking a needle in my arm anyway :p )
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm a bit shocked any uni would have such people on their campus in the first place promoting clinical studies.

    why? how do you think new drugs are developed?

    it's horribly sad that those men are so poorly, but without clinical trials, millions of people would not have life altering, and in some cases, life saving drugs.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    kaffrin wrote:
    why? how do you think new drugs are developed?
    there are ethical issues though with paying people to test drugs. some say that they target those that are poor and in need of money, who wouldn't take the risk of trialing drugs if they were $1000 richer for example. so having them on campus, where students are skint could be seen as unethical.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    there is a company in manchester called MedEval that always used to advertise round campus, contemplated it a few times.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    lipsy wrote:
    there are ethical issues though with paying people to test drugs. some say that they target those that are poor and in need of money, who wouldn't take the risk of trialing drugs if they were $1000 richer for example. so having them on campus, where students are skint could be seen as unethical.

    i see that point, but i don't think anyone would test drugs for the laugh. they need an incentive. pitifully few people do that kind of thing out of the goodness of their hearts. just look at how many people give blood, and that takes less than an hour of your time.

    i know a couple of people who work for covance up here, and i think the trawling for students is more of a desperation thing that them being sneaky and evil-villain-like. it's a bit of a lose-lose deal for them. no volunteers and everyone's like 'i can't believe they won't license that wonder-drug for my condition'. lots of volunteers, and they're criticised for the means in which they acquire them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I know a couple of people who do them and they've had no trouble with them - it doesn't sound like a whole barrel of laughs, especially not the ones where they keep you locked up for a week or two, but it sounds like one of the easiest legal ways to get some money fast.

    I've considered doing them myself, and might even do one later this year to get money to go travelling with, but I smoke and drink and take my share of recreational drugs so I'm not ideal drug trial material.

    The risk doesn't bother me that much - if it's so rare for them to go wrong that when it does it becomes national front-page news, then I figure the odds are in my favour.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    kaffrin wrote:
    i know a couple of people who work for covance up here, and i think the trawling for students is more of a desperation thing that them being sneaky and evil-villain-like.

    I don't know, I reckon there's probably at least some element of sneakiness and villainy to it. Drugs companies don't really tend to be that nice or ethical - in some countries, medical trials are still done on prisoners and orphans.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Voodoo Ray wrote:
    I don't know, I reckon there's probably at least some element of sneakiness and villainy to it. Drugs companies don't really tend to be that nice or ethical - in some countries, medical trials are still done on prisoners and orphans.

    drugs companies are made up of all sorts of people, just like any company. i'm sure some people who work for them are evil and unethical, but most of them are just normal people getting on with their jobs. and often they're not particularly nice jobs.

    hopefully one day we will be able to produce safe, effective drugs without animal or human testing, but we're still a long way off yet, so in my opinion it's a very necessary evil.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm not saying all the people who work for them are evil, but that the companies themselves are deeply unethical at a corporate level, and shouldn't be trusted. Look at the way they're cashing in on AIDS.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Voodoo Ray wrote:
    I'm not saying all the people who work for them are evil, but that the companies themselves are deeply unethical at a corporate level, and shouldn't be trusted. Look at the way they're cashing in on AIDS.

    i think that's true of most big companies. if we took a stand with all of them, not only would we not have necessary drugs, we'd all keep or money under our imaginary mattresses (in our imaginary houses), grow all our own food, and probably be naked.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Of course it'd be impossible to take that kind of stand against all big companies but that doesn't mean you should trust them any more than you have to .

    I think with all big companies, you can expect them to behave villanously and underhandedly whenever they can get away with it - their #1 motivation is profit, not looking out for your best interests.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Voodoo Ray wrote:
    I think with all big companies, you can expect them to behave villanously and underhandedly whenever they can get away with it - their #1 motivation is profit, not looking out for your best interests.

    don't get me wrong, i think it'd be awesome if companies made drugs because they really cared about the health of joe public, or bought clothes/furniture from ethically run factories in developing countries, or banks didn't charge you for absolutely everything they possibly can. i think it'd be really great.

    i just don't think it's very realistic.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Voodoo Ray wrote:
    I don't know, I reckon there's probably at least some element of sneakiness and villainy to it. Drugs companies don't really tend to be that nice or ethical - in some countries, medical trials are still done on prisoners and orphans.

    They are a company, its as simple as that, yes they think about the bottom line, but if they didnt then they wouldnt be in business, they arent charities.

    And yes, they do charge a lot for the drug when its under licence, but thats because it costs a huge amount to get the drug to the market. There would be no point spending billions on research if you then had to sell the drug for 2p a pill.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Of course they need to make the money back that it cost to develop the drug - but do they need to make such gigantic profits, that aren't going to benefit anyone but the shareholders?

    GlaxoSmithKline, for example, made £1.5 billion last year in pure profit last year, and thousands of people died because the prices of GlaxoSmithKline's drugs were too high for them to afford. I think that's a bit sick...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They can't develop new drugs without that profit.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Voodoo Ray wrote:
    Of course they need to make the money back that it cost to develop the drug - but do they need to make such gigantic profits, that aren't going to benefit anyone but the shareholders?

    GlaxoSmithKline, for example, made £1.5 billion last year in pure profit last year, and thousands of people died because the prices of GlaxoSmithKline's drugs were too high for them to afford. I think that's a bit sick...

    You aren't really seeing the bigger picture here. The cost of developing a single drug is PHENOMENAL. And don't forget that the vast majority of drugs in development will not reach the market anyway, and hence will not generate any profit for the company.

    The profit margin is not that big if you think about the sheer amount of drugs produced and sold by the company. And if you think about it, if you were the CEO of GSK would you rather use the profits to lower the prices of your drugs, or reinvest in more reasearch? It would not be good business to sell drugs at prices very close to costs, in just the same way that any other market would put a mark-up on their products.

    I'm not saying it's necessarily ethical or 'nice', but that's the way business works. And at the end of the day, whether they make a lot of money or not, the drugs companies are still providing a lot of patients with the medicines they need.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You aren't really seeing the bigger picture here. The cost of developing a single drug is PHENOMENAL. And don't forget that the vast majority of drugs in development will not reach the market anyway, and hence will not generate any profit for the company.

    The profit margin is not that big if you think about the sheer amount of drugs produced and sold by the company. And if you think about it, if you were the CEO of GSK would you rather use the profits to lower the prices of your drugs, or reinvest in more reasearch?

    If drug companies were to use all, or half, or even a quarter of their profits on the research and development of new drugs the world would be a better, and healthier place. They don't. The great majority of the profits go directly into the pockets of shareholders through dividends - and it's one of the world's most profitable industries.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    kaffrin wrote:
    why? how do you think new drugs are developed?

    it's horribly sad that those men are so poorly, but without clinical trials, millions of people would not have life altering, and in some cases, life saving drugs.

    I mean having actual drug companies with their offices on the university campus raises ethical questions.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As a medical student I find myself routinely being invited, often through Medical School resources, to participate in numerous drug trials and tests.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I mean having actual drug companies with their offices on the university campus raises ethical questions.

    possibly (see rest of thread), but in another way, it makes sense.

    universities research and test. drug companies also research and test.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    and students are alcohol-laden confused poor monkeys which make them ideal targets for drug testing?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Voodoo Ray wrote:
    Of course they need to make the money back that it cost to develop the drug - but do they need to make such gigantic profits, that aren't going to benefit anyone but the shareholders?

    GlaxoSmithKline, for example, made £1.5 billion last year in pure profit last year, and thousands of people died because the prices of GlaxoSmithKline's drugs were too high for them to afford. I think that's a bit sick...

    Thats a pathetic profit for the number of assets they have, if I worked there I'd be really scared by a profit figure that low, they should be making more than that.

    Whats stupid is your corner store will probably make a better mark up on goods than big multi-nationals, but no one accuses Mr Jones' Stop N Shop of not investing enough profit in the Third World.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If people in my community were dying of starvation because the only place selling food was the Stop and Shop and they couldn't afford to pay Stop and Shop prices, then I'd reckon their profit margins should be examined...
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