First of all, congratulations on taking the first step to helping us provide a better tomorrow for future generations! There could be no medical advancements without clinical trials, but there would be no clinical trials with out volunteers like you. You are so important and so appreciated!
Now that you’ve decided to participate, or you’re seriously considering it, you’re probably wondering what you should expect during our first visit and beyond in your research journey. Well, keep reading to learn just that!
Initial Phone Call to Determine Eligibility
The first step after signing up for a clinical trial is the prescreening phone call. During this call our recruiters will ask you a series of questions in order to determine if you meet the initial criteria to participate in the trial. At this time, we will also send you a medical record release form that will enable us to retrieve your medical records from your primary physician. If it is determined that you meet the initial study criteria you will then be scheduled for your first visit.
Your First Visit – AKA the Screening Visit
The first visit is the time to get all of your questions answered before you move forward. The study coordinator will start the visit with the informed consent process. They will explain the study to you in full detail and answer any questions you may have. After you fully understand the study and all of your questions are answered, you will read, review, and sign the informed consent document for yourself. Keep In mind you may withdraw your consent and quit the study at any time.
After you sign the consent form, the study coordinator will then verify your initial eligibility and ask any additional questions to further confirm that you meet the study criteria. The physician will also come in to conduct a physical exam and other study-specific tests. Typically, this includes vitals, EKG, and initial blood work. Every study is different, but these are basics that can be expected in almost every study. You can expect this visit to last at least 1-2 hours.
Routine Study Visits
Every study is different in the number of visits that are required and how often. This will all be explained during the informed consent process. A typical routine study visit will mostly consist of a physical exam, blood work, and questionnaires. Some visits may require additional tests like x-rays, ultrasounds, biopsies, etc., depending on the study. The main goals of these visits are to evaluate your safety, determine the effectiveness of the treatment on your condition, and collect data to submit to the FDA. These visits can last anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours or more, again depending on the study.
Compensation for Study-Related Time and Travel
By law, a pharmaceutical company cannot coerce a person to volunteer for clinical research. This means that they can only provide “reasonable” compensation or reimbursement for a person’s study-related time and travel. As with most things mentioned, the amount considered reasonable for every study is different. Some studies require more extensive testing or maybe a patient is required to stay overnight, so understandably they are compensated more. On average, a patient is compensated $50-$75 per completed visit. In total this could range anywhere from $800-$5,000 or more.
Are You Ready to Volunteer?
If you haven’t already signed up to participate in one of our studies, you can browse our currently enrolling studies here: South Houston, North Houston, Lake Charles, McAllen. If you have any questions or concerns about participating, please feel free to reach out to us at 281-918-0048.