Many people have questions about clinical research. Here is an overview of Meridien Research’s frequently asked questions
Why should I participate in clinical research?
People participate in clinical research for a variety of reasons. Some people find it intellectually stimulating to contribute to the discovery of new medical treatments that are safer and more effective than existing treatments. Others participate because they do not have access to quality medical care for their conditions, and as a participant, can receive medications and physician consultations free of charge. All participants benefit from the expert education they receive regarding the management of their condition. In addition, we compensate participants for the time they spend in our studies.
Is it safe to participate?
Your safety is our number one priority. All technicians and staff go through an extensive training program before they are allowed to conduct study procedures. Physicians are on-call whenever we perform tests that are potentially hazardous to your health. Study coordinators will let you know the risk involved in each procedure, and you will always have the option to end participation at any time.
Will I qualify for one of the studies?
Enrollment criteria vary for each study and include factors ranging from age to smoking history. The best way to find out if you qualify is to call a Meridien Research recruiter. She will go through a brief medical questionnaire with you and enter your information in a secure database. The coordinators of the different studies will then be able to contact you if you seem like a good match.
Can I participate in more than one study?
We do not allow subjects to participate in more than one study at a time because we do not want data to be confused. However, it is often possible to participate in a second study after the first one is finished and a period of time has passed. The length of time required between studies varies; let your coordinator know if you would like to continue participating.
Are clinical trials safe?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has strict guidelines and regulations that help ensure the safety of clinical trials. According to the FDA, “Carefully conducted clinical trials are the safest and fastest way to find treatments that work in people and new ways to improve health.” Research subjects are closely followed with blood work, physical exams, and other testing relevant to the study. Meridien Research has been conducting clinical trials since 2000 and its medical doctors have worked in research for decades.
How long is a clinical trial?
The commitment to a clinical trial varies from a few weeks to up to several years. You will be told during your initial visit exactly what is expected of you during the trial, so you can make a decision about whether or not you want to continue with the screening process.
Will I be compensated for my time?
Compensation varies from study to study and you will be informed of compensation opportunities before you enroll.
When are study visits conducted?
Our clinics are open Monday thru Friday and we generally run visits from 7am to 5pm. We are closed on holidays and weekends.
Where are your offices located?
Meridien Research has five medical research facilities throughout the Tampa Bay area in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Bradenton, Brooksville and Lakeland. Click here for information on locations.
How often can I participate in a study?
You must take at least a 30-day break between studies.
How often do you add new studies?
We continually add new medical research studies. We know months in advance what studies we will be offering and will gladly put you on a waiting list and notify you when the study opens.
What if you do not have a study that suits my needs?
If you don’t fit any of our current study criteria, we will add you to our database. When we get a new study, we do a database search and will contact you to see if you’re interested.
Who administers the studies?
A board certified medical doctor and highly trained clinical research coordinators work with you throughout the study.
Do I need medical insurance to participate in any of your studies?
No medical insurance is necessary to participate in any Meridien medical or mental health clinical studies. If accepted for the trial, participants are provided study medication and are closely monitored by Meridien’s medical doctors and staff.
Will my insurance be billed for my participation?
We do not collect your insurance information for any purpose and your insurance will never be billed. Also, you will not be charged for any procedures related to study participation. If you do receive a bill, please let us know immediately so that we can straighten things out.
How will my private health information be shared and remain confidential?
Meridien Research is a research institution. All research projects must be approved through a special review process to protect patient safety, welfare and confidentiality. Your medical information may be important to further research efforts and the development of new knowledge. We may use and disclose medical information about our patients for research purposes, subject to the confidentiality provisions of state and federal law.
Will I be able to know the results of the study?
Generally, clinical trials run for months or years. After enrollment has finished and all participants in the study have completed all study requirements, the data are locked and analyzed. After results are obtained, the principal investigator and colleagues write their findings and conclusions, and once this has been published, we can share the results with the study participants, usually by letter.
Will I get a placebo or real medicine?
Some studies compare the medication being tested in one group against another group taking a placebo (a look-alike pill or tablet that has no active ingredient). You will be told if there is a placebo involved in the study you are considering enrolling in so you can make an informed decision about whether to enroll in the study.
What kind of studies are you currently offering?
Click here to see a list of all the studies offered at our locations.