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Medical Trials Scotland

Becoming A Volunteer: Frequently Asked Questions

Do I get paid?

Yes. Spectratox pays volunteers for their participation in drug trials/studies and provides local transport or reimburses travel expenses.

The payment for each study varies according to the time volunteers devote to the study, the number of visits they need to make and the inconvenience of the schedule. An independent Research Ethics Committee approves the payments we make to volunteers for trial participation. Study payments are made at the end of the study, after the final visit to the laboratories, by cheque in the volunteer’s name.

What are the trials for and who benefits?

These studies assist the development of new drugs and medications. Any profits earned by Spectratox in conducting these studies are used in research and educational activities for the benefit of patients.

Who can volunteer?

No qualifications or skills are needed to be a drug study volunteer. You will need to be aged over 18 but there is generally no upper age limit provided you are in good health.

You can be included in a study when you have successfully undergone a general health check and examination, and declared any medications or health treatments you are undergoing or have recently undergone. The health check may include pulse, blood pressure and heart checks and the taking of blood samples. Each study may include specific checks. If you are not eligible for one study, we will keep your details on our database for future studies.

What will I do in a study?

You will be randomly allocated to take either a trial drug or a dummy drug (placebo) usually in tablet form. By shining light rays on your skin we will accurately assess any impact the trial drug has on your skin’s response to light. The scientists and doctors will monitor how your body signs change as the medicine works and how it interacts with certain foods or conditions.

How long do the studies last?

Your participation in a study will usually last 10 – 14 days of which 7 days may be residential. You will normally be able to carry on your usual activities between your visits to the Photobiology Unit.

How often can I take part in trials?

You are not allowed to take part in more than one study at a time and we recommend a gap of 12 weeks between studies. This is for your wellbeing and it is important that you do not take part in trials too often. Please feel free to contact us to discuss any questions that you may have.

What do I need to do to take part?

Please telephone us on 01382 740248. You will be asked some general health questions. If you are suitable for our studies we will contact you to arrange an appointment at our Clinical Trials Suite in Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, where you will be seen by the Research Nurse and a Doctor who will give you a short physical examination and ask some more questions. You will be asked to bring photographic identification (e.g. a passport or photo driving licence) with you and your GP contact details.

Is Spectratox insured if there are problems?

This type of study work is covered by the sponsoring pharmaceutical company. Spectratox carries additional insurance.

Why do I need to be registered with a doctor?

To conduct our studies in a safe and ethical manner, we contact your GP to check that you are eligible to take part and to check your medical history.

What happens to the information about me?

Your details will be held on a secure volunteer database that is only accessed by Spectratox staff. If you take part in a study we will ask you for permission to share the information with the sponsoring company. If necessary, your records may also be disclosed to regulatory authorities for medicines in the UK and elsewhere. You are entitled to access information held about you if you so wish.


Web Site Launched

18th April 2008