People always seem surprised (shocked even) that I have taken part in a clinical trial. Nevertheless they are always interested in what it was like, which I guess isn’t surprising (it’s not something you do every day is it?!).

Why? Where? Were you ill? And did you get paid? tend to be the most popular questions. For me (like most I’d imagine) the compensation is obviously a huge appeal. Most studies pay around £3,000 which to the average Joe (like me) is around two months’ wages. I am also interested in the medical side of it though, and like the thought of trying to help produce new or improved medications.

When somebody says to me ‘I’d never do that, I value my health’ I like to respond by saying that without clinical trials there would be no medication, so without those hardy souls who step up to the plate (like me!) we would not have things like antibiotics, or even simple painkillers like paracetomol. The old sentence “it’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it” certainly works very well here.

So what’s the catch then? I hear you asking, well there isn’t one really, although you are in a residential facility for 10-14 days so you’re basically in ‘lock down’(you’re given a cold or flu virus, so it needs to be under quarantined conditions). If you like the great outdoors then this might not be for you. However if you like free food, TV and playing PlayStation then it might be a dream few days!

I would also add that there’s a lot of stuff that goes on early in the morning (well there was on the study I took part in), so if you’re not a morning person this might be tough. I certainly struggled some mornings.

So all in all it’s not all plain sailing, and you can certainly get a bit restless if you don’t have enough things to occupy yourself (I’d certainly advise to bring as much with you as possible), but overall I enjoyed the experience and would happily do it again. Thanks FluCamp!

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