Consumer Alert: Can you really make money participating in clinical trials?

Clinical Trials

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A thousand bucks for just showing up? That’s the question a viewer had when they saw an ad on News10NBC’s website.

The ad is for a company called Rochester Clinical Research or RCR. The company conducts clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies and is based, as the name implies, right here in Rochester. And yes, it’s true. Participants can earn up to a thousand bucks or more in rare cases for just participating.

A viewer reached out to Consumer Investigative Reporter Deanna Dewberry when they saw this ad on WHEC’s homepage.

The ad says African American and Hispanic participants are needed immediately. And there’s a reason for that. Often drugs behave differently in people of different races or ethnic groups, but minorities are often reticent about signing up. 

Many remember the horror of the Tuskegee Experiments from the 1930’s through the 70’s when Blacks with syphilis were denied penicillin and allowed to infect others and die horrific deaths just so researchers could study what happened to their brains and bodies in late-stage disease?

Today there are strict national guidelines assuring that clinical trials are safe. And it’s critical that people of all races and ethnic groups participate.

“Every disease affects each person differently and that is especially important in different races and ethnicities. So, without knowing how a specific disease or a specific medication affects specific populations, we aren’t able to get all of the data. and we want good data. We want to know how these medications are going to affect one person versus another. So, if we can get a diverse patient population to give us this data, we can confidently say that we know this medication is gonna work in this population like this or this population like this,” said Jean Kelly, RCR Physician Assistant.

RCR tests vaccines, drugs for cholesterol, diabetes, weight loss and more. Insurance is not needed and payment for participants is based on the number of appointments as well as the length and involvement of the testing.

Rest assured, the risk is minimal and clearly outlined. More information here.