Victoria saw a clinical trial available regarding a new drug for arthritis. It was in her neighborhood so she decided to sign up for it. She had polio in her left leg which had weakened her muscles, so all her life she'd had to use her right leg to step up on curbs or when taking stairs. This extra activity for so many years had broken down the cartilage in her knee and it was often swollen and painful.
The clinical trial was testing a new drug that might help with the pain and swelling from her arthritis, and she was hopeful that it might give her some relief.
When she arrived for her first appointment, Victoria was surprised by the thoroughness of the exams the nurses did. They ran many tests including an EKG to make sure that she didn't have any underlying conditions. She was pleased with the professionalism of the technicians and nurses.
On her next appointment, they gave her the results of all the tests. She had high blood pressure and high cholesterol so they recommended that she see a physician and get on medications for those conditions. Once she was on those new meds, she went back again to see if she'd qualify for the clinical trial.
They tested her again and accepted her this time. She was put on the new investigational medication that very day and told to keep a log of her pain levels each day. It was an interesting time for her as she began trying to measure what types of activities caused more pain and how to reduce it. It turned into a true learning experience.
The trial lasted for three months. She was paid $60 cash each time she went into the clinic and earned a total of $480 over the course of 12 weeks. She got to know some of the technicians there and became friendly with them. The new drug did help to reduce the swelling and pain in her knee and proved to be very effective. The bad news was that the team couldn't divulge the name of the drug to her.
Victoria had such a good experience that she decided to sign up for a sleep study the following year, which also went well. Since then she has participated in one other study.