Do the Highest Paid Clinical Trials Yield Steady Income?


Though a lot of science fiction films and books have built their stories around medical trials gone wrong, the reality is that some of the highest paid clinical trials have resulted in some of the best medical discoveries of our era. They are never the “free for all” that fiction would like us to believe, and they are also reasonably interesting ways for most of us to earn a tidy income on the side. Often, they involve minimal effort on our part, with some of the highest paid clinical trials requiring no more than a lot of written surveys.

However, among the highest paid clinical trials currently running, there is a bit more involvement on the part of the participants. The interesting thing about these trials is that they do more than pay an income to those who participate. They are often a way for you to get specific health issues addressed or for you to play a part in having some sort of remedy created.

For example, if you suffer from Crohn’s Disease, you already know that it is wildly uncomfortable, somewhat unpredictable and quite detrimental to your health and well being. There are almost no remedies available, and yet one of the highest paid clinical trials is actually looking at it in the hopes of figuring out how to remedy this horrible condition.

So, let’s look at some of the most lucrative or essential of the current trials to see if they are of benefit to you, beyond just your bottom line:

  • Sleep study clinical trials – The AASM has sleep education facilities in many parts of the country,and though they focus on identifying patients with conditions like sleep apnea and insomnia, many also do clinical trials. They range from the surveys we already mentioned, to full-blown studies. People have made more than $10k from participating in them, and it is a good idea to visit the AASM website to determine if they have any trials open to you.

The truly dedicated sleeper may also want to pay a visit to the world-famous NASA website as they have run several lucrative sleep studies over the past few years with participants making thousands of dollars. However, be aware that the study can run for three months, and that means you must make it a full-time job!

  • Studies for comparison – Interestingly enough, healthy people can be paid to participate in studies for such simple things as saliva samples. As an example, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research just wants healthy people who are willing to pay a visit to their Maryland office to allow saliva collection and some basic exams.
  • Crohn’s Disease – The team at Acurian Health will pay subjects up to $750 to participate in a Crohn’s disease study if they qualify. They get medical care for their condition, medications and the satisfaction of knowing they are trying to help many others like them. You can find out if you qualify for participating by visiting the Acurian Health website.
  • Atlanta Center for Medical Research – This group is focused on many health issues and has a surprising number of clinical studies running at any time. Visit their participant website to see which conditions they are studying and learn if you can participate in a paid clinical trial in Atlanta or another area.
  • Search engines – You can also do a look at all of the clinical trials currently running or recruiting through sites such as:

CenterWatch – This is a website that emphasizes studies that look specifically for healthy patients, though they also have many listings for some of the highest paid clinical trials, too. –  This is the site for theCenter for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation. They send out regular emails informing all registered parties of the trials available. They do not have the highest paid clinical trials specifically highlighted, but it is likely that those with the best compensation will be in their listings. – This is a sort ofclearinghouse of all National Institutes of Health studies. You look by the specific study, such as typing in the disease or condition that the study emphasizes, and then see if it is open for enrollment or participation.

Covance – Narrow the search down by gender, dates and location and discover where the studies are being held, the compensation available, and more. As a basic example, you might see a listing saying that healthy adults aged 18 to 100 are needed for a two month trial in Texas, with compensation being $4500.This is also known as the TestWiththeBest website, and it also lists many drug studies in the United Kingdom.

Parexel – This is nearly identical to Covance. You just do a search and see which studies are available to you. This one is a bit clearer as it indicates if you can smoke, and details a bit more about the volunteers needed. It mostly emphasizes paid clinical trials in Baltimore.

PhRMA – This is the site of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. It does not administrate any trials but simply tracks everything that occurs within 25 specific states. It is a database that can let anyone know about the current drug trials and it is a beneficial resource for researchers as well as those seeking to participate in the highest paid clinical trials

While these major engines are certainly useful in finding current trials, you can also turn to any medical schools, hospitals or universities in your area to determine if they are also hosting research studies. As an example, a local hospital that has an emphasis on treatment for a specific health issue is also quite likely to have knowledge of clinical trials relating to that issue and may even conduct them independently. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with any such entities in your state or region.

Also, keep in mind that associations and foundations that focus on particular conditions will also keep track of clinical trials that are looking at their specific concerns. We mentioned Crohn’s disease, but there are also hundreds of other conditions with organizations developed around treatments and cures. Do the research online and you are quite likely to find many such clinical trials, and may even be paid to participate if possible.

What to Know Before Signing on for the Highest Paid Clinical Trials

Now, we don’t want to misinform you about the highest paid clinical trials. They are out there and some of them are incredibly easy to enter. Whether you are eager to join the funded clinical trials in Philadelphia,paid clinical trials in NYC,paid clinical trialsin Dallas, Baltimore or anywhere else, you still need to know a few things before you sign on.

First, and as one money magazine emphasized, “Compensation is areward for a risk.” Whether you are signing on for the different paid clinical trials in Los Angeles, NASA clinical trials, or the paid clinical trials for smokers, the simple fact is that the medical teams you work with are not entirely sure of what is going to happen during the trial.

Now, that is fine when all you are doing is supplying saliva, a few skin cells or letting them watch you sleep for a few hour, days or weeks, but when it is a new treatment or medication, the risk is real. Side effects can be unpredictable,and it is quite accurate to say that you might experience side effects for years or forever.

However, this is a wildly rare issue. After all, by the time anything reaches the clinical trial status, it has been through lab and even animal studies. It is in its final phases of testing or trial, so that is also something to remember.

Remember too that most ask you to sign confidentiality agreements or to indicate that you understand the risks. This is another factor to consider. If you wanted to blog about your participation in asthma clinical trials that paid you or a clinical trial for smokers, it could be that you would violate the signed agreement by doing so. Be clear about what you expect and what is expected of you before signing on.

Also, keep in mind that the payments issued might depend entirely on the phase in which you were invited to participate. That means read the fine print on any contracts. Did it say you got paid the same as a phase I participant as you would if you were a phase IV participant? That is your responsibility to determine before signing. And if you would like to be able to leave at any time, be sure that is also in the terms.

That same money magazine advises that it is better to get into a trial early on as it means the trial is small and the pay is much higher. The later you are in the trial phases, the more people are needed and that means much lower earnings.

Keep in mind that we do not advise you to consider clinical trial participation as a full-time job. Yes, you might be lucky enough to be accepted into something like that NASA sleep study during which time participants had to spend a majority of their waking hours in bed, with some learning online and reading dozens of books for pay. However, as clinical trials are often described as a college student’s gig, it is apparent that they are meant to fill in the gaps.

Alternative Routes

If you cannot participate in those highly paid clinical trials, or you are a bit worried about the risks involved, there are many other, similar ways to make money. For example, you can earn money in clinical trials by filling out their surveys, and you can do the same with scores of online survey sites. Some are far more lucrative than others, and we detailed them in our article 11 Online Survey Sites that Could Be Right for You.

If you are willing to put in the time, you can often obtain a high earning status at some of the most valid of these sites. Be aware of scams, though, as some sites pay pennies and ask you to earn quite a tidy sum before they let you take out your rewards.

Don’t forget that you can also develop a blog around medical issues that are of particular interest to you. For example, maybe you have insomnia or diabetes,and you want to share all you know with others struggling with the same condition. Why not use that blog or site and monetize it? You can look for products and services available through affiliates and create an ongoing stream of income just by putting their link on your site.

As an example, you might find an affiliate offering products for people who must live with the challenges of diabetes. You blog about diabetes and all of the latest developments in treatment; by adding affiliate links to your page, you can quite easily begin earning money whenever your audience clicks or purchases through the links. It is not the same as actively participating in finding remedies and being paid for it, but it is an excellent way to be an active part of the community – and earn a tidy sum doing it.

You can also put your mind to developing apps for those who may want updates on conditions or who are eager to participate in specific studies. Link your app to websites featuring the latest news about studies and clinical trials and encourage others to participate.

You can make money by participating in high paying clinical trials, but even if you are not qualified or accepted, you don’t have to give up. You can use these many different tips to generate income around something that is of interest to you as well as millions of others around the globe.


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