Posted Jun 19, 2002
Well, I've just got back from Scotland, where I have been a volunteer on a medical trial. If you dont know what that is, I will explain.
Basicly, this is where you book yourself onto a study testing drugs etc. You are admitted, then given the drug (usually on the morning after admission) then spend the rest of the time giving blood samples and having ECG and vital signs checked. The blood is taken from a small canula which is inserted into your arm, its a little uncomfortable, but not in any way painful.
It can get quite boring, so I took a few books, including 'Starship Titanic', (if you havent read it I highly recommend that you do so), there are recreational activities provided. These take the form of a Pool table, various board games, a video collection and a tv in every ward which has Sky.
Anyway you get a participation fee for taking part in the study, the clinic where I went started from £50 per day plus travel expences. Three meals a day and supper with as much tea, coffee or juice as you can drink.
I met people from all walks of life, from students to people travelling across europe. Theres some very interesting characters out there, I can tell you.
Theres a lot of stigma about drug trials, you here how people have had there heart stopped for a few seconds (its always a friend of a friend) but Im yet to actually come across someone who has had it done. These trials are monitored by independant ethics commitees to make sure it conforms to their code of practice.
If you want to know more, then drop me a line.