BBC Breakfast News feat. Richmond Pharmacology
BBC Breakfast News talks to Richmond and its volunteers about the risks and appeal of participating in drug trials on the BBC Breakfast News show, featured Tuesday 22 May 2012.
Volunteer John Radcliff* was due to take part in a clinical trial with Richmond Pharmacology. A routine check up with one of our doctors showed that he had suffered from a silent heart attack in the days prior to him starting a clinical trial and he didn't even know!
Thanks to the thorough checks made by our doctors, and the swiftness of the A&E department of the Mayday Hospital, the potential volunteer received fast treatment and was back home within a week to recover.
"I went to Richmond Pharmacology on the Saturday as I was due to take part in one of the trials for the elderly.
As one last check before I was finally to be included on the study Dr Lin of Richmond Pharmacology took a blood test and ran an ECG (to check my heart). Dr Lin spotted immediately that something was not right on the ECG. He consulted with the Cardiology department and took me to the A&E department of the hospital straight away. Luckily this is only down the corridor from Richmond's Clinical Trials Unit at Mayday Hospital.
The doctors in the A&E department confirmed that I had suffered a silent heart attack between the day of screening and the day of admission just prior to starting the study. Mayday Hospital kept me in for further monitoring and I had an operation to insert two coronary stents (little plastic tubes to widen my arteries and increase the blood flow to the heart).
I remember feeling a little bit under the weather before I came to Richmond, but put it down to straining myself with a suitcase. I had no idea I had suffered from a silent heart attack. If it wasn't for the ECG reading at Richmond Pharmacology I would have been totally unaware of what happened to me, and wouldn't have been in A&E so quickly.
The staff at Richmond Pharmacology and Mayday Hospital are all very helpful and continued to look after me even if I was unable to participate in their clinical trial; they even arranged a taxi for me to get back home to Eastbourne after my operation.
I volunteered to take part in a trial because I thought I was fit and healthy and had some spare time on my hands. It's disappointing I couldn't take part and I hope I can take part in a future trial!"
*Name changed to protect the patient's privacy.
"I decided to take part in a clinical trial because I feel that in the past; I have received a lot of benefits from the NHS and thought I would give something back by helping out the community. I chose trials4us as I viewed an advertisement. During the day I read lots, utilise the computer room and enjoy the company of the other volunteers participating in the trial. The staff have been excellent. They are all very lovely people. I would definitely recommend trials4us to a friend."
"I decided to take part in a clinical trial because I wanted to earn some money and at the same time be able to help out with medical research. I chose trials4us as I had never seen any other advertisements of other CROs in the media other than Trials4us wanting over 60s During the day I take part in all the clinical tests that need to be done as well as I read and watch television. I think that the staff at trials4us are very friendly and efficient. I would definitely recommend a friend to trials4us as I enjoyed the experience."
H L Butler
"I decided to take part in a trial out of interest, and because I have a lot of time on my hands. I have also done a trial before and knew what to expect. I chose Trials4us over other CROs as they were the first to contact me. During the day I like reading and talking to all the other volunteers on the ward. I have found the staff to be very good and friendly. I would definitely recommend Trials4us to a friend."
"I decided to take part in a clinical trial as I needed the money. Other reasons were also to meet people and help in the progress of drug development. During the day on the ward I like to use the computer, read lots of magazines and talk to friends who are also volunteering in the trial. I think that the staff at Trials4us are wonderful. I would definitely recommend trials4us to friends who might be in the same position that I am in."
Margarett F. Paterson
"I decided to take part in a clinical trial as I thought that the money would be useful and I enjoy the time that I spend during a clinical trial. The reason I chose Trials4us was due to the fact that I have participated in other clinical trials in the past with Trials4us. The staff has been very good and I would definitely recommend Trials4us to friends." Carol Daniel Raai, 16th March 2006 "When I went in friends were concerned but I know that controls are in place. One thing went wrong at the other trial centre but trials have to take place. Also what we are testing is not the same. We are constantly monitored and watched by staff even when you go to the toilet they make sure everything is OK. Also what I heard on the news in regards to the staff at the other unit is not the same as here. My motivation for staying is the same as it has been I need money to supplement my studies and also my brother has been here, my friends have been here and friends' friends have been here. The fact that I have had positive feedback from friends encouraged me to stay."
"I knew I was alright because my drug is already out there, so I was secure in that and I have been on the trial for a few weeks so I knew I was alright. Also Richmond Pharmacology went through a list of possible side effects so I knew what to expect. What has happened has not put me off in participating in my trial. I have decided to stay on the trial because I have been taking the drug for a time. Also with all the publicity Richmond Pharmacology would have informed me if there was any thing wrong with my trial"
Sarie Louise Smuts
"I decided to take part in a clinical trial because I wanted to earn money for travelling, I am going skiing in December to Switzerland, and it offers me flexibility to earn money while travelling. I looked at other CROs but went with Trials4us because the timing was convenient. During the day I do lots of reading and watch TV, I also surf the internet - it gives me a chance to update my address book! Overall I would give the facilities 7 out of 10. The staff have been very nice especially Bebe and Ali. I would definitely recommend Trials4us to a friend."
"I am taking part in a trial because I didn't have any work and wanted to earn some extra money before going to South Africa. I looked around first at other CROs but liked the advert in TNT, and also the fact that you use females because most people I contacted only wanted males. Most of the staff are friendly, I am doing a long trial which is good because they get to know you. I would recommend Trials4us to a friend."
"I decided to take part in a trial 3 months ago. I work for a Brazilian newspaper in London and needed to earn some extra cash. I looked at other CROs but didn't like their websites I looked at Trials4us and decided to ring. During the day I read, write, watch TV and talk to the other volunteers. I have found the staff to be friendly and would recommend them to a friend."
"I am doing the trial for the money! I am travelling from New Zealand. I saw a TNT advert and decided to reply. During the day I read, watch TV and get to know other volunteers on trials. I would recommend Trials4us to a friend" Jaco Prins, November 2005 "I needed the money badly so decided to do a trial - I am currently applying for a visa to stay in the UK. I chose Trials4us because it was convenient and they called me back. During the day I play board games, watch TV and I have made lots of friends here. I would recommend Trials4us to a friend"
"The main reason I took part in this clinical trial is because I have 2 jobs, and I needed a holiday from the 2nd job where I don't receive holiday pay - so for me it's like a paid holiday! During the day I spend my time laying around, listening to music, watching movies and taking day trips to Oxford. The staff are lovely and helpful, if you have any problems they help you out. I would recommend trials4us to my friends because it's a good paid holiday, also I give the facilities a 10 out of 10."
"I saw the advert in TNT for clinical trials, I am travelling and it's a good way of earning money. Trials4us had the quickest response in getting back to me when I registered so I chose them over another CRO. During the day I spend my time reading books, surfing the internet, watching movies, playing card and board games. The staff are excellent, I really love the staff. The facilities are excellent, I would give them 9 out of 10. I would recommend trials4us to my friends because it's like a holiday and you get paid for it!"
"I took part in a medical trial because my friends have told me you can make good money, meet new friends and have a good experience. A friend recommended I choose trials4us and I have seen the advertisements in TNT. During the day I spend my time watching TV, talking to friends on the internet and playing cards. The facilities are good and I would give them a 9 out of 10! I have found the staff friendly, if you have any questions they will answer them for you. I would recommend trials4us to my friends because 1) it's good money and 2) it's like a vacation - a chance to get away from London!"
"I took part in a medical trial for the same reason as most people do - the money. Friends have done trials here before so I chose trials4us. During the day I read, surf the internet, socialise with friends, watch movies, play the play station, watch TV - there is lots to do actually. The staff have been very friendly and accommodative and helped with any questions. I would recommend trials4us to my friends because I have enjoyed it very much and I approve of it."
"I took part in a medical trial because of the money, I saw the advertisement on a job website and it mentioned the pay! I spend my time talking to friends I have made here, playing my guitar, and listening to music. The facilities are excellent I give them 10 out of 10! I would definitely recommend trials4us to my friends, it's a fun safe way to earn a very good amount of money."
"Taking part in a clinical trial gives me the freedom to have time to catch up on work! I am a cartoonist so it gives me money and time! It was easy for me to get on to a trial and start straight away so I choose trials4us. I spend most of my time drawing and listening to music - I also quit smoking whilst here. I have found the staff friendly and would give the facilities 9 out of 10. I will definitely recommend trials4us to my friends, the money is really good."
"I decided to take part in a clinical trial because of the money. Most of the day I spend on the internet, watching movies and playing cards. I am supposed to be studying as well! I have found the nurses very friendly the doctors have also been very cool. I will be recommending trials4us to my friends."
"All the staff are very friendly, helpful and have a good sense of humour."
Mr & Mrs Packham
"Very friendly staff and a nice place to make new friends."
"The clinical staff and doctors are first class in every way. The trial was a real success."
"Nice, friendly, helpful and obliging staff."
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St George's and Mayday Hospitals
could earn between £90 - £350
also receive £5 for travel expenses
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