Clinical Trial FAQs
Frequently asked questions
What is involved in being a member of the Volunteer Panel?
Once you have successfully completed the screening process, you may become a member of the panel. Once on the panel, you will be sent the dates of forthcoming clinical trials, for which you may be eligible. You will need to send the form back in the pre-paid envelope, to indicate whether or not you are available to do the study. You may also phone or email to speed up the process.
Are there any risks involved in being on the Volunteer Panel?
If you decide to participate in a study, you will have to attend a 'Consent Talk' that is given by the doctor who is involved in the study. The details of all procedures will be explained and you will be informed of any risks. This will be supported by written information. The decision to participate is taken by you, therefore you should not feel obliged to take part. If you choose to take part, you will need a screening medical to ensure that you are in good health and a suitable candidate for that particular study.
How much time would I have to give?
Clinical trials are varied in terms of the time and commitment required. It is fair to say that most of our studies run over office hours. With some particular studies you may be required to stay overnight at the unit, or longer. Typically you may have to attend the unit on a regular basis for tests which can vary from 20 mins to several hours.
How many studies am I able to do a year?
You are limited to either 3 or 4 clinical trials a year depending on the stage of development of the study drug.
Who will see my medical information?
All your personal information will be treated as confidential, that is, any information that identifies you by name, will be held and processed under secure conditions. Access to that information will be limited to authorised personnel working at the unit and possibly to representatives of regulatory authorities.
Is my participation in clinical trials voluntary?
Participation in clinical trials is entirely voluntary. Joining the panel does not oblige you to take part in a clinical trial. You are able to withdraw from the Volunteer Panel at any time.
What happens if I am unsuitable for the Volunteer Panel?
Unfortunately we cannot accept everyone who applies to join the panel as there are a number of reasons why some people are unsuitable. Some reasons are medical, others may be related to work, lifestyle or social matters. If you are unsuccessful in your application we will inform you as soon as possible. However your information will be retained for 3 years in the event that our panel requirements may alter in the future.
Who decides whether I am accepted on to the Panel?
The final responsibility for deciding whether you can join the panel rests with the clinical team. The clinical team also reserves the right to subsequently remove you from the Volunteer Panel if they consider it to be appropriate.
How safe is it?
Clinical trials are carried out under the strict supervision of fully qualified doctors, nurses and other health professionals. All trials are run in accordance with European legislation and must first be approved a Research Ethics Committee and if a new medicine is involved by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency). Before every trial you are given information about the study to read through in detail and are able to spend as much time as required with one of the Research Doctors discussing all the details and potential risks of the study. This process is called informed consent and must be completed before any study procedures are able to take place. After the formal consenting session with the doctor you will be able to take the information home to discuss with friends, family and maybe even your GP. A consent form does not need to be signed until you feel that you have enough information to make the decision to take part, and even once the form is signed you are able to withdraw from a study at any time. Before you can take part in a clinical trial, we take great care to ensure that you are suitable to do so. You will be screened against the approved study protocol and are required to undergo a thorough medical examination, which includes taking blood samples for a variety of tests, as well as tracing your heart (ECG) and measuring your blood pressure. We will also contact your GP to check that there are no medical conditions in your history that might affect your participation, and we routinely make checks to ensure that previous studies you may have completed at another site will not affect your participation in a study at GSK.
Will I be paid for taking part?
By participating in a healthy volunteer study, it is not anticipated that you will receive any therapeutic benefit from taking part and it is therefore considered ethical and appropriate that you should be paid for your time and inconvenience. The amount of payment you will receive for each trial will vary and is calculated based on the amount of time that you have to devote to the study, the number of visits and also the amount of inconvenience anticipated during the trial. An Independent Research Ethics Committee will have approved all the payments that we make to volunteers for trial participation. Study payments are made at the end of the study after your final visit and are made by cheque, which will be made out in your name.