Real Voices interview: Roger

Meet Roger, a volunteer who has taken part in drugs trials

How did you hear about the drug trials?

There was a small advert in a local newspaper, and someone pointed it out to me.

What made you want to volunteer?

The arrival of my two daughters, around 15 years ago. My wife had stopped working, and I can’t deny the money was a big issue. You get between £500 and £3000 per trial. Another benefit is the thorough medical checks you get before and during the trials.

How was the trial run?

If you’re an inpatient, you go in the night before, and sign all the documentation with witnesses. The next day, you get your dose of the drug at timed intervals, and they start taking your blood samples, also at regular intervals. You can see the results if you want. Some people don’t like needles, but you have to have a cannula. That’s as invasive as it gets.

There are often restrictions on what you can eat and drink, but they don’t tend to be harsh. They might say no grapefruit and no poppy seeds, for example.

How concerned were you about possible side-effects?

People have been nervous since Northwick Park. But I’ve never had any lingering effects. My attitude is that I’m more likely to get killed on the bike on the way over there than during the trials. It’s in the company’s interests to look after me, and they are loth to release anyone with any effect, however small. You’re very well monitored – both for your individual benefit, and for their statistics. I may have been affected long-term and not realised it. But I’m confident that I won’t be, and I feel well very looked after.

About this resource

This resource was first published in ‘Drug Development’ in January 2008 and reviewed and updated in August 2014.

Drug Development
Education levels:
16–19, Continuing professional development