How to find and take part in paid clinical trials

If you’ve ever looked into participating in a clinical trial or research study, you may know that some studies offer financial compensation. But how do you go about searching for paid clinical trials, and are they right for you?

Understanding paid clinical trial opportunities

It’s important to understand why you’d be paid in the first place. CISCRP points out that you are being compensated as a reward for a risk. You may receive benefits such as access to care and facilities that aren’t available to average patients, but the treatments you’ll test have not been approved.

The amount of payment often has to do with the phase of the trial. Phase 1 trials, for example, pay more (around $2,000 on average) because the treatments being studied are less well-understood. Compare that to Phase IV trials, which offer the lowest average compensation (around $400). The therapeutic area can also impact payment — cardiovascular disease, neurology, endocrine, gastrointestinal, and blood disorders trials tend to pay the most. But, it’s important to remember that paid clinical trials ask something from you in return. In addition to testing not-yet-approved treatments, you’ll likely be asked to track symptoms and side effects, and travel to the site to take part.

Before you can participate in any clinical trial, you will be asked to review and sign an informed consent form (ICF), which will explain the potential benefits, risks, and side effects that you may experience while taking part in the clinical trial. The investigational treatment may or may not help to make your condition better. Informed consent is not a contract, and you may withdraw from the trial at any time. But it’s best to know what you’re getting into beforehand. 

It’s important for you to fully understand what you’re considering committing to, so a conversation with the study site is crucial. Before you sign on, you can ask the study team as many questions as you would like. We shared 15 questions to ask as you’re evaluating the study and making your decision.

How to find a paid clinical trial opportunity

Some trials offer payment for time and effort, while others simply reimburse travel costs or childcare. If you’re thinking “sounds great,” you might be wondering how you can find a paid trial. Unfortunately, there is no perfect way to do this — many trials don’t include this information in their public registry listings, and just looking at advertisements won’t tell you if you are likely to qualify for a study. Many websites feature lists of paid trials, but again, it may be difficult to ascertain whether you might be eligible.

We recommend finding a few trials for which you may qualify, then contacting the sites to learn more about the study and about potential payment. Antidote’s clinical trial search tool lets you filter by phase and type, which can help you narrow down your search. 

Even if a trial isn’t paid, if you live with a particular condition, you may find it’s worth the access to a potential new treatment and the care you receive at the facility. Without volunteers, new medications can’t be approved by the FDA, and therefore can’t reach patients. Clinical trials play a major role in the advancement of scientific research and will hopefully benefit future generations. Simply put, research matters, so start your clinical trial search today: