Parexel enlists individuals for paid clinical trials in Los Angeles, Baltimore, London and Berlin
Expected pay: Varied, but substantial
Commissions & fees: NA
Where:Los Angeles, Baltimore, London and Berlin
Requirements: Vary by study
Parexel is a biomedical company, which enlists individuals to participate in paid clinical trials in Los Angeles, Baltimore, London and Berlin. These tests can involve everything from vaccines to treatments for rare diseases.
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How it works
There are essentially three ways you can sign up for clinical tests with Parexel. You can volunteer to be notified whenever there is a test for which you qualify. You can apply for a specific clinical trial. Or you can be referred to a clinical trial by your doctor or a friend.
Either way, the first step involves providing contact information and basic information about your health, height and weight. Parexel will then call you for a screening appointments. These appointments include drug tests, blood and urine samples, as well as a health history. They typically require 2 to 4 hours.
If you take recreational drugs, don’t bother with screening. These automatically disqualify you for Parexel clinical trials, partly because of the potential interactions between recreational drugs and study medications.
When you participate in clinical trials, you are essentially a human guinea pig. You take medications and are monitored for reactions. That monitoring may include heart-rate monitors, blood test, and urine samples. Expect to be poked and proded — like an extensive doctor’s visit — regularly.
However, other than that, you’re likely to have your days free. You can work on your laptop; play games; read books; or watch t.v.
When an overnight stay is required, you share a room with between one and three other people. All meals and snacks are provided.
But you are also basically captive in the research facility, without the option of leaving for meals or to see friends. And, Yelp reviews of Parexel’s US facilities are pretty dismal.
Each clinical trial has different qualifications, which include age, Body Mass Index, health status, allergies, and whether you’re able to have children. (Some studies specifically require sterile and post-menopausal women.) In some cases the researchers are looking for healthy volunteers. In others, you’ll need to be diagnosed with a condition ranging from Schizophrenia to dementia, acne to arthritis.
Requirements of each study also vary. When we reviewed open studies at Parexel’s clinics, we found some that required only a two or three-night stay and a follow-up exam or two. There were also studies that required participants to spend as much as a month sequestered away in a clinical research facility.
Most studies require blood draws, urine samples and that you take the study medications. However, some have more onerous requirements, which can include lumbar punctures and other unpleasant medical procedures.
If you qualify for a study, the researchers will give you detailed information about what they’re looking into and what the known risks are. These include the known side effects of the drugs they’re testing, as well as how long they believe the drug will remain in your system.
Do not skip over these disclosures. These tests are risky, particularly in early-stage trials where they’re testing medications on a healthy population. These tests are designed to find out what might go wrong — and you are the guinea pig. While deaths are rare, serious illnesses have occurred.
You can leave
It’s also important to note that you can back out of a clinical trial at any time. And you should do that if you feel that the study is putting your mental or physical health at risk.
To be sure, you will not get paid for the portion of the trial that you don’t complete. But that’s insignificant compared to your overall health.
Most studies also provide generous payments, which are spelled out before you start. Payments are typically provided in the form of debit cards and are made over regular intervals over the course of the study. This payment schedule is also spelled out in advance.
The amount participants earn varies dramatically from study to study. However, you can expect that the more time and discomfort involved, the more you get paid.
For example, when we reviewed Parexel’s open studies in mid-September 2023, a study that involved a 7-night stay and a few follow up visits, paid $7,250. Another that required nearly a month’s stay and more than three-dozen follow-up calls paid $29,140.
But both of these studies also require a lumbar puncture, which can be extremely uncomfortable. In addition, participants needed to wear heart monitoring devices and, in the longer study, have an EKG.
If you quit before you complete the study, you keep the payments made to that point. But you won’t earn the full amount for the study.
Although Parexel pays extremely well, it’s one of our least highly-rated clinical trial companies. That’s mainly because Yelp reviews of the site’s LA and Baltimore facilities were unusually bad. Complaints ranged from gripes about the food to concerns about the staff and patient safety.
What their users say
The full experience from someone involved in two trials — one of which left several people seriously ill.
Food is horrible. Last time I was here for 6 days had a lettuce chicken wrap 5 of those days also every side dish was tomato’s and cucumber. And I’m not kidding one day we had tomatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everybody was complaining to the staff. They said they would take care of it. Now I came back and it was the exact same thing. Cucumber and tomatoes on almost every meal or as a side dish. I suggest if you come here and you hate the food leave a comment. The proportions are way too small. But I guess if one of the side effects is losing weight, they can put that on the drug and make more money so maybe that’s why they starve you.
Paraxel’s screening procedures are unique, but not in a good way. If your vitals are found to be elevated (even slightly), or they find anything in your blood (like elevated enzymes or whatever from working out), you run the risk that they will make a determination and permanently ban you from further participation.
THE WORST CLINICAL TRIAL COMPANY PERIOD.
The staff are extremely racist, rude, beyond unprofessional and they treat you like dam CATTLE. THE STAFF HERE ARE THE WORST IN THE BUSINESS, they will treat you like you are a study rat, they look at you like you are last weeks garbage, will speak in different languages (Armenian & Japanese) right in your face. They will lie to you at screening to get you to agree to the study, then change the study when you check in so then can pay you less, they do this every time. I did a study here and almost Died! And they still wanted me to keep taking the Drug after I collapsed three times!
Not a fan
Not a huge fan, if given a choice and compensation was equal would choose Anaheim Clinical, then WCCT instead of Parexel.
1. Lengthy and more strict screening (3-4 pre-screening visits, COVID is also separate)
2. Nurses lacking in professionalism, courtesy towards patients (both ACT and WCCT very professional)
3. Will ban people from all future studies for having one allergy/elevated enzyme – narrow screening procedure to weed out patients to make things easier for the company itself
I would give ACT a call first.
Lack of empathy, no genuine concern for MY doubts, the staff did nothing to alleviate my doubts and as I left, a cold “good bye”. When I arrived, all peaches and light, as if the power watt was full blast, yet when I declined, total power outage. Two faced, yet my over all remains, I am healthy, still, no regrets. To those considering to volunteer, do not be blinded, nor taken in, by the amount of money compensation you can get. Be real and in no way afraid to listen to your doubts.
Good money, bad experience
Very disorganized……doesn’t matter who you ask or what the question is. The answer is always “I don’t know”. You’re kept in the dark until the last minute. Anyhow, the pay is decent. You’ll probably have problems getting paid on time though.
One of several medical human testing facilities in Baltimore. It’s not a bad way to get some extra cash if your desperate enough. To say the staff was rude would be an understatement. Expect to be in the company of several “lifers” especially if the study pays well.