Thursday, August 27, 2015

What's the guinea-pigging payment rate for taking Addyi with 2-4 shots of grain alcohol in the morning?

Sprout Pharmaceuticals is taking some heat for a safety trial of Addyi, its (alleged) libido-booster for women, which was recently approved by the FDA. It turns out that Sprout conducted the safety trial almost entirely on men.  Of the 25 subjects in the trial, only two were women.

Pretty dumb, but it's not hard to see why. The vast majority of Phase I guinea pigs are men. So unless Sprout had decided to recruit only women (which would have been the reasonable thing to do with a drug developed exclusively for women), it would likely get mostly male volunteers.

Here's my question. How much did the subjects get paid?  According to Melissa Dahl, the trial consisted of taking Addyi along with 2-4 shots of grain alcohol in the morning. The result?  "Many of the study volunteers experienced fainting and dangerously low blood pressure; in some cases medical intervention was needed."

 I've seen Phase I trials that paid upwards of $6000 or $7000, but that's usually for a 3-plus week inpatient stay with an invasive procedure or two.  (Also, those trials don't usually serve alcohol.) What's the going rate for a couple of shots of Everclear and an experimental drug?

Of course, that's not the only interesting thing about the trial.  I'd really like to have a look at the consent form. Not just to see whether they informed subjects of what might happen to them, but to see how exactly they described it.  Everclear, a libido-booster and a medically-induced black-out: it sounds like a trigger warning for a date-rape simulation.

There are 25 former subjects in this trial.  Are any of them willing to talk about the experience? We're asking the question on Twitter. Reply to @FearLoathingBTX.

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