Medical Trials Scotland
Becoming A Volunteer: Frequently Asked Questions
Do I get paid?
Yes. Spectratox pays volunteers for their participation in
drug trials/studies and provides local transport
or reimburses travel expenses.
The payment for each study varies according to the time volunteers
devote to the study, the number of visits they need to make
and the inconvenience of the schedule. An independent Research
Ethics Committee approves the payments we make to volunteers
for trial participation. Study payments are made at the end of the study,
after the final visit to the laboratories, by cheque in the volunteer’s
What are the trials for and who benefits?
These studies assist the development of new drugs and medications.
Any profits earned by Spectratox in conducting these studies
are used in research and educational activities for the benefit
Who can volunteer?
No qualifications or skills are needed to be a drug study
volunteer. You will need to be aged over 18 but there is
generally no upper age limit provided you are in good health.
You can be included in a study when you have successfully
undergone a general health check and examination, and declared
any medications or health treatments you are undergoing or
have recently undergone. The health check may include pulse,
blood pressure and heart checks and the taking of blood samples.
Each study may include specific checks. If you are not eligible
for one study, we will keep your details on our database
for future studies.
What will I do in a study?
You will be randomly allocated to take either a trial drug
or a dummy drug (placebo) usually in tablet form. By shining
light rays on your skin we will accurately assess any impact
the trial drug has on your skin’s response to light. The scientists
and doctors will monitor how your body signs change as the medicine works
and how it interacts with certain foods or conditions.
How long do the studies last?
Your participation in a study will usually last 10 – 14 days of
which 7 days may be residential. You will normally be able to carry on your
usual activities between your visits to the Photobiology Unit.
How often can I take part in trials?
You are not allowed to take part in more than one study at
a time and we recommend a gap of 12 weeks between studies.
This is for your wellbeing and it is important that you do
not take part in trials too often. Please feel free to contact
us to discuss any questions that you may have.
What do I need to do to take part?
Please telephone us on 01382 740248. You will be asked some
general health questions. If you are suitable for our studies
we will contact you to arrange an appointment at our Clinical
Trials Suite in Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, where you will
be seen by the Research Nurse and a Doctor who will give
you a short physical examination and ask some more questions.
You will be asked to bring photographic identification (e.g.
a passport or photo driving licence) with you and your GP
Is Spectratox insured if there are problems?
This type of study work is
covered by the sponsoring pharmaceutical company. Spectratox
carries additional insurance.
Why do I need to be registered with a doctor?
To conduct our studies in a safe and ethical manner, we contact
your GP to check that you are eligible to take part and to
check your medical history.
What happens to the information about me?
Your details will be held on a secure volunteer database
that is only accessed by Spectratox staff. If you take part
in a study we will ask you for permission to share the information
with the sponsoring company. If necessary, your records may
also be disclosed to regulatory authorities for medicines
in the UK and elsewhere. You are entitled to access information
held about you if you so wish.