There is a new subculture of people that purposely allow themselves to be probed, prodded, and examined for money. Some do it for a little extra cash, some do it for a living, and some do it just because of the thrill of it.

Clinical trials for new human medications are necessary before a drug can be approved for use, which means that the drug companies need to experiment with the drug on real people before selling it. To do this they find test subjects that are willing to be given the drug and monitored to determine possible side effects.

Drug test patients are compensated for their willingness to participate, and there are people who actually do these trials for a living. These human lab rats can make $50,000 a year doing tests. Some people will travel all over the country to wherever the next trial is; this is their full-time job. It can actually become a sort of addiction for some people to take part in all these tests. It is not likely that someone would be able to abuse the drugs they are testing, but some people thrive on taking any kind of medication they can.

Dangers of Drug Trials

Drug trials can be dangerous. The goal for healthy participants is to show any potential side effects of the medications. Being the first one to check and see if a drug is safe or not can be a risky job. These test subjects may have to endure a variety of side effects, sometimes putting their health at risk. One trial went so wrong that the subjects had to be rushed to the hospital and some suffered life-threatening conditions. (1)

Another concern is that it is difficult to say what might happen to these people over time. There is no way predict how a new drug will impact a person’s health in the future. A drug may have lasting effects, or maybe not show anything for years. Someone that jumps from test to test also risks possible drug interactions that can be very dangerous.

Keeping Test Subjects Safe

Pharmaceutical companies do not necessarily want people to do drug trials for a living because of the potential dangers. But the drug companies need to test these medications before they can sell them for public use, so they sometimes don’t look as closely as they should at the requirements of their subjects. Meanwhile, there are many human guinea pigs that will go to great lengths to avoid being tracked.

Being a lab rat is certainly not an example of healthful living. While these people may not be using the drugs they take for any gain other than for a chunk of money, all these chemicals in one’s system are not good for the body. It might be a good paying job and it may pay off for some people in the long run, but it is important for something like this to be done carefully and in moderation.

Sources

Drug Test Cowboys

Taking drugs for a living

Volunteer Medical Testing Raises Ethical Concerns

(1) Drug trials have limits, flaws

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