How to Make Money in Clinical Drug Trials

Volunteers test new medication.
Image Credit: mermaidb/iStock/Getty Images

In a clinical drug trial, researchers test the safety and efficacy of newly developed pharmaceuticals. Clinical trials for medicine must pass Phases I, II, and III before the drugs can be approved. Since each phase requires human test subjects, and because new drugs can be very profitable, these studies may pay volunteers well for their participation.

Step 1

Use the locator tool at to find clinical trials approved by the National Institutes of Health. Use the advanced search option and browse clinical trials by state. If you are looking for paid research studies that need healthy volunteers, type "healthy" in the search box beside "Conditions." This will help narrow your search, since many of studies only need participants with preexisting medical conditions.

One caveat of this feature is that the compensation is not listed.

Step 2

If you have a research hospital in your area, check whether they have ongoing clinical trials of pharmaceuticals. Usually the hospital's website or the medical school's website will have information for participants in drug studies.

Step 3

Before you participate in a clinical drug trial, get all the facts about dosage, what the medication is for, what the expected side effects are, and how long the study lasts. Keep in mind you could be given only a placebo for control purposes rather than the drug, and you won't know which one you are getting.

Step 4

Make sure you have a guarantee of payment in writing. Keep in mind that when you participate in a clinical trial for medication, you won't be able to sell plasma, and you may have restrictions on donating sperm for money as well.

Step 5

Take all your required medication and show up for all scheduled appointments to make sure you get paid the full amount. If you don't follow the researchers' directions, it will skew the results and may also affect your compensation.


Note that before you take any investigational medications, the company running the study will generally conduct a thorough exam to make sure you're in sufficiently good health to participate in the study. Nevertheless, at your next visit with your primary care physician and any relevant specialists let them know about any clinical drug trials you're involved in.