Thursday, April 27, 2017

The insider's guide to guinea-pigging

The Colin McEnroe Show did an episode on human guinea pigs back in January, featuring conversations with Larissa MacFarquhar, Liz Parrish, Paul Clough and me. If you saw the documentary film Off Label, you probably remember Paul; he is a guinea pig pro and founder of the website Just Another Lab Rat, which gives research subjects inside information about what they should expect at various clinical trial sites across the country.

Here's an example from the message board:

This clinic is trying to pass meds at any cost. If you get sick from the meds, you will be ceremoniously ushered out, paid only up to that day and ignored.

I recently participated in a study at this joke of a facility. Dr. Fein had no interest in my health. Her only concern was getting this medicine passed through. I was told I would not be allowed to continue because "it just isn't worth it", per Dr. Fein.

I will never do another study at this facility again. If you do, don't report side WILL NOT BE PAID.

And to be honest, not getting paid isn't the worst of it. The real scandal is the fact that if you're injured in a trial, there is a good chance you'll have to pay your own medical bills.  For more on that depressing topic, have a look at this article in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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