Clinical Trials - Concerns for Volunteers
TORONTO, OHIO -- I have volunteered at BioPharma (Weston Rd, Toronto) on two occasions.
The first time, it took so long to process me (I arrived at around 5 PM) that when I was finally give the evening snack (after being initially told they had run out) it was 8:53 PM. I was informed that it had to be completed by 9 PM to comply with the trial I was to participate in the following morning.
Afterwards, I was left to wander around the television room, and was given no direction as to where I was to sleep. It took asking three different people, two of whom asked 'Don't you have a bed?', before they decided there was no assigned bed for me. They moved me to the main floor into what looked like a hospital ward.
I was assigned a curtained off bed, but I pointed out to the staff member that there were no sheets or bedspread on the bed. He looked and said "Yes there is". I told him that it was a mattress cover, not a sheet. He went away and brought back another mattress cover telling me that it was a sheet.
I settled into my bed and was about to begin reading when a staff member came back telling me that I was in the wrong area, the female area. Even though I had been there less than 5 min, he said that the women were complaining that I was there. I had heard nothing more than a rustle from behind the other curtains, certainly no complaints so I was informed that I had to move.
My bed was moved 'one bed width' to the left (5 ft?) and the staff member told me that it was now in the males' area.
They woke me from a deep sleep at 4 AM to do my blood pressure and told me it was a little bit high (I think the systolic was about 142 when what they wanted was 140).
In the morning they sent me on my way with the 'over night stay' amount of money.
On the second occasion, the whole process was a bit better, but they waited until after taking my first blood draw before deciding that my blood pressure was a bit too high, even though they knew before they took the blood that I was not likely to be staying for the study.
They paid me only the basic 'over night stay' amount even though they had begun procedures were commenced on me. When I asked for an addition amount for the extra procedure, they gave me all kinds of excuses as to why they shouldn't pay me the extra. Finally, when I began speaking with an observer from the pharmaceutical company that the tests were being done for, I was told that they would 'work something out'. I spoke with the supervisor who said she would call me.
When she did, she said there would be no compensation, and tried to insist that I was diabetic because I had a pink rubber bracelet on that my son had bought to support diabetes research. She said I could not do any studies with them until I proved I was not diabetic.
I had a full physical exam and the doctor has determined that I am not diabetic. When I applied to them recently to volunteer for another study, they insisted that because I'm diabetic and complained the last time that I am not eligible for any more studies there.
Before deciding to participate in studies at BioPharma, my suggestion would be to consider whether it's worth the amount of trouble they may put you through.