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How to be treated in the US and get paid for it

It's no secret how much private medical insurance costs, what you need to get Medicaid and what mental jungle has to be overcome in order to understand where and what the insurance covers, and where it is necessary to pay.

Photo: Shutterstock

And while we are healthy, we are not interested, and when we are sick, there is no time to go into details.

One of the ways - I want to emphasize that this is just “one of” ways to use the existing system to your advantage and by no means a panacea for everything that can and cannot be cured - is research involving volunteer patients for work.

Your status and insurance card are not checked. They don't require money from you. Moreover, they pay here - you.

Although, of course, in society, the subtext “use us” is popular, not without it.

It's about testing medicines on humans. A lot of associative material immediately comes to mind. The myths that those striving for world domination are eager to change a person at the genetic level, so that later they can easily and simply conquer him. A lot of films about how clinical research is harmful and how they make sick people from healthy people. All this is a pandemic and trials of vaccines against COVID-19 only warmed up.

No, there will be no advertising for research and there will not be a single positive or negative epithet addressed to them. There will be bare information about how such studies really go, what they give to science, and that to their immediate participants.

FAQ

What it is?

Pharmaceutical research has been conducted around the world for more than half a century and has undergone a lot of technical, ethical and legal adjustments in favor of the patient during this time, but what has remained unchanged - yes, in the course of these studies, drugs are actually tested on humans.

If they had not been tested in public, humanity would have received far more unpleasant surprises than it had already received. The people who are tested for the clinical picture or the effect of the drug can be roughly called “guinea pigs”, or you can be volunteers who help science and extract financial compensation from their activities.

Who is doing this?

A great variety of both public and private clinics. The lion's share of such research is carried out in hospitals. The larger the organization, the more research it can conduct and the higher the level of diversity of such research. And the cooler the equipment.

Who needs it?

Pharmaceutical companies interested in developing new drugs. To consumers of pharmaceutical companies' products, because demand creates supply. Wait, that's not the whole list. It is also necessary for patients who have been prescribed “wrong” for many years, who have tried all possible medications and realized that nothing helps from their malaise (migraine is especially famous for the lack of a way out), who have nothing to lose and take part in testing the drug for them - the last hope to get at least something that works.

You - me, I - you

This principle in research works to its fullest. You provide your blood, urine, saliva for tests, answer questions about your state of health a very large number of times, your body may (and it’s not a fact that it really happens) have to suffer the side effects of a new medicine. This is what you give. What they give you: the possible cure of your illness, medical support in the event of a side effect, and ... material compensation.

Why is it paid?

Because you are wasting your time on it, in the first place. And resource. Your ability to be a human unit expressing an opinion that, among others, will guide drug developers is a resource. This is a common practice, as is done everywhere.

Sometimes, in order to take part in a study, a person is forced to skip the work day, and sometimes he, according to the terms of the study itself, requires an accompanying person or taxi. All this clinic compensates, and the patient signs the “received money”.

Who pays it?

Those who sponsor certain studies. In different clinics they are different people. The cost of participation in the study of each patient is initially budgeted.

How is it paid?

Also in different ways. Participation in a depression research program is, for example, $ 50 per session. A session lasts an hour and you do not use anything. In fact, a number of other studies are accompanied by taking the drug. In tablets or intravenously.

Who will know that you participated in these studies?

No one. Under the terms of a completely formal contract that you sign, this action is absolutely anonymous. Even in a telephone survey, you will be called your personal code, because the respondents do not know and should not know your name.

Risks

Changing the health for the worse and side effects of the drug.

Nobody hides this from anyone; a person is always warned about what could theoretically happen to him and is asked in detail about the sensations during the procedure.

It is for the identification of side effects (among other things) that research is being carried out.

Are there any such cases?

There are. The medical staff is first interested to bring you around if this happens. The clinic is responsible for everything that happens inside it. If you do not take drugs under the terms of research, then the side effects are not talking.

“What if I am put on drugs?”

The FDA controls the entire synthesis process of all approved drugs. Without its green light, research will not begin and the drug will not be available at pharmacies.

That is, I can come here just like that, and they will just take me to participate in the study?

Not. You will be taken to participate in the study of a certain disease only if you are already sick with it - and in order to find out, you will be preliminarily examined (questioned, examined). Sometimes your doctor will recommend you to take part in the study.

How does this happen? The patient complains that nothing helps him, the doctor offers another option - to determine whether the latest developments help him empirically. Participation in the study is, of course, only voluntary.

Who is involved in such research?

Most of the volunteers are people over 50. However, for the study of migraine, for example, people from 18 years old are allowed - this disease is characteristic of all ages, unfortunately.

Different research requires different people, and hospitals also have pediatric research. Pediatric oncology, autism, hearing impairment - all of this is being researched, and through the participation of volunteers as well. Parents give consent if the child is a minor.

How it is done

 

If you think you need or would like to take part in such research, then there is a centralized government broker, where a search is made both by disease and by your place of residence. There you will be shown the nearest clinic dealing with your problem.

You can also go to the website of any individual clinic and ask everything that interests you.

On any front desk, you can say that you are interested. clinical Trials - and you will be answered whether such research is being carried out and in what area. You may not have medical insurance (any), you may be in the status of a tourist - however, provided that you participate in the research, this will not be a problem.

What happens next

The decision on whether the drug will not be released to the market is made by the FDA. All information about the study sponsors send to Food and Drugs Administration even before research begins. Sponsors give a detailed account of what they expect from this drug, what they expect during the study, what requirements are imposed on the composition, etc. The FDA may or may not permit these studies. And only after that the pharmaceutical company looks for a clinic to implement the research. After the study is completed, all data is also sent to the FDA for processing. This is a huge amount of information, a complete database of all possible side effects, data and well-being, and only if they are all within the normal range - the administration decides to release the drug on the market.

Side effects

Svetlana Netrebchuk, coordinator of one of the clinics conducting research, says that side effects are quite common, and this is not surprising: “Firstly, this is discussed at the first visit, at the screening, we provide the patient with full information in his language (usually it is in English, but if a person does not read English, we always provide it in his native language), we always talk about the side effects of this drug. This is discussed right away, and the person must agree. The starting information for the patient describes everything - what we are going to do at each visit, and the side effects of this medication. If a person does not give his consent on the first visit, we stop working with him. We do not deceive anyone and do not hide anything from anyone. It is our duty to speak about the negative points first.

If a person develops nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, individual intolerance to some component, the patient must either call us and tell us as soon as possible about what happened, or we ourselves see that something is wrong.

In addition, not every person is suitable for research - we are in the strict framework of the criteria for the age, sex of the patient, and previous illnesses.

Allergies are included in this list. And if a person does not fit these criteria or there is the slightest risk of harming him, we will not even take him. We will never knowingly put a person in danger. We will most likely refuse him on the first visit. But usually, as side effects, we still have a headache or some kind of parallel ailments not related to taking the drug - a cold, for example, accidentally caught, or an accident ... If this is still definitely a side effect of the drug, we discuss the expediency of further participation of the patient in the study and refer him to a narrower specialist who is able to analyze the situation. "

Personal experience

 

George, asked not to mention his last name, 50 years, passed a very long list of studies in 2003-2007 years: "I took part in such studies in Canada and England, in 2003-2007, I did not take part in the USA. On me, among other people, they planned to test a drug for the treatment of asthma. I donated blood, urine, my height and weight were checked, I filled out a questionnaire. Under the terms of the study, the person testing the drug must be between 18 and 45 years old and must not be overweight. Cardiogram and blood pressure. I was there several times for several hours, the longest time that I spent there - 8 hours per visit - it was a preliminary examination, screening. As a result, I ended up in the reserve - that is, they took my data in case someone leaves the race in this study, then I will be a reserve.

At the moment I am alive and well, but I would like to say about other research participants. I had a feeling that people come there for material compensation and it is important for them not so much to help science as to earn. There are real volunteers, but their percentage is low.

Most of the emigrants participated. Students People sitting on the velfer. Ethnic minorities. Parents of large families of poor families. Native people practically did not come across.

From $ 700 to $ 1000, patients earned such studies in Canada. If you take a few studies, you could save money for starting your own business or for a car - and very often my patient colleagues did just that.

More than 4 thousand pounds such research was then worth in England.

As a result of the Postoperative Healing Study - the effect of some healing drug was tested on me - I lost sensitivity of the oral mucosa and the outer skin for a while.

Once for a few seconds lost consciousness. But I was immediately brought a stroller, cared for me. In study I donated a total of 700 with over a milligram of blood.

There, people are divided into those who take a placebo and those who receive the real drug. Who gets what is a medical secret.

And those who take a placebo, definitely do not get any harm to health. And the one who takes the real drug may feel something.

The legislation is very different in these countries: Canada between the study of the same person must pass in the region of a month (28 days), but in England - at least 56 days.

There are some characters who contrive and participate immediately in 2 research: at that time there was no shared computer in the clinics. But that was a long time ago; I think the situation has changed since then. With this, the patient makes worse both himself and the study.

How do I personally feel about this kind of research? If it's voluntary - why not? Everyone is responsible for their decisions. We can, for example, donate organs after death in an accident. Why not? I have participated in a lot of such studies, and now you are talking to me, right? The research conditions, by the way, have always been good. As in the sanatorium there was, approximately ”.

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