Friday, February 22, 2013

Clinical Trials (Part 1)


It seemed like a good idea at the time.  A chance to do good and make some money. I dove headlong into the world of clinical trials and discovered more than I had imagined.
The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research is  sponsoring a trial for an investigational new drug to combat cognitive decay in the Parkinson’s afflicted brain. I was the mild to moderate Parky they were looking for.  The trial  is being conducted at at Harbor Hospital in Baltimore MD. , a two hour drive from my home. My obligation was to:
1. Qualify for the study (i.e be healthy enough to participate) 
2. Stay at the hospital for 3 days and 2 nights, then, make three follow up visits for half a day each.
Add to that, travel time and expenses and the money offered to participate seemed just barely enough. I , however have opened my big mouth about volunteering for the sake of science, so I felt obligated.
I arrived early Monday morning, checked in , got bar coded , hung my street clothes in a locker and donned the blue scrubs that everybody wore. So far, so good, first because I decided that I looked good in scrubs, and second, who doesn't want to go to work in their pajamas?  I met my room mate, another P.D. solider in the battle for a cure. It turned out we were the only two subjects that week, so we felt we might have some say in our situation.  What we discovered  was that  we were cogs in a large pharmaceutical testing facility and we had rules to follow. 
When doing credible  science I suppose, this is the only way.
(Tomorrow: Settling in. The Hospital Experience,  Or, people do this lab rat thing for a living?)

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