What to Consider Before Participating in COPD Clinical Trials
If you’ve watched the movie Fun with Dick and Jane, you’ll know Dick (Jim Carrey) and Jane (Tea Leoni) were living well until they both lost their jobs. Their money was gone and their home was in the process of foreclosure. They both tried to make money, and Jane decides to get involved in clinical trials because the study would provide compensation for her participation.
If you suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you may choose to get involved in a study recruiting COPD patients because it pays. This article examines the financial aspects of participating in a research study.
The Financial Benefits
You see it in the local newspaper, on Craigslist or other websites, or even hear it on the radio: a new trial for COPD wants to compensate you. The amounts vary based on the research company, the cost of the project, the duration of the project and other factors.
You can be paid any amount, from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. A trip to the clinical research facility for a follow-up or a blood test, for example, is typically paid anywhere between $50 to $300. Some studies (or medical insurance companies) would also cover other associated costs such as childcare, traveling costs, and more.
Things to Consider
Do you know what happened to Jane in the movie? She was the only participant in the study who developed an adverse reaction to the cosmetic intervention.
She came home with a huge, swollen face instead of looking better. Although this movie was a comedy, things like this can happen in real life. Participants like you need to ensure the drug is safe and effective.
The main goal of participating in a trial should be to help your own symptoms — to have access to a new drug that could potentially improve your COPD symptoms.
Perhaps you can get involved in a study to help scientists discover a new therapy that can help millions of people in the future. Think twice before enrolling in a study for purely financial reasons.
Should you decide to be part of a study to make some extra cash, choose a safe study, like an observational research study. During observational studies your treatment plan is kept as usual, while the investigators look at various lifestyle factors and evaluate whether or not they are associated with your symptoms.
If it is an interventional study (a clinical trial), the safest choice is a phase III trial, which indicates the new therapy or drug was already tested in two previous studies and deemed to have a good safety profile.
Always discuss the trial with your doctor. Ask if the study is suitable for you, and about the risks and benefits. Talk to family and friends to get feedback from people who know you very well, and who care about you.