Diabetics: How to get free health care benefits, test supplies, prescription medications and medical treatment with free clinical trials. Find local trials.
One subject that we explore briefly in our online resource guide Where to Get Free Diabetes Test Supplies and Diabetic Testing is free clinical trials of new diabetes medications and treatments. Most diabetics have no idea that so many of these trials are currently taking place, or what kind of benefits they may provide. In this article, we will give a brief overview of what diabetics can expect from participating in free clinical trials of new diabetes treatments as well as how to find them.
Clinical Trials For Diabetics Are Always Free
First of all, you should know that all legitimate clinical trials of new medications or treatments, whether they be related to diabetes or not, are generally free to participate in. You will never be asked for any type of payment. The only possible out-of-pocket expenses you may incur is having to pay for transportation to and from the facility conducting the research. However, in many cases, those running the trials will reimburse you for your transportation costs or even pay you a stipend for participating in the program. It will likely be time consuming on your part, but the time is usually well worth it. If you end up getting paid a small amount of cash for your time, all the better. It is not always easy for these organizations to get patients to follow through on all that is required of them, so you are likely to be treated extremely well by those conducting the trials.
How Can I Qualify For Free Clinical Trials?
Here’s a tip that I learned after talking with the top research physician of one of many clinical trials currently taking place. Most organizations conducting clinical trials on diabetics are looking for those who are newly diagnosed, within a year or so. If you have had diabetes for many years and have taken a number of different medications to treat it, you are generally considered a poor candidate for most clinical trials. There are definitely exceptions, so don’t let that discourage you from looking, but don’t be surprised if you don’t actually qualify under these circumstances. It’s also important to note that there are no financial requirements for participating in these programs. Researchers are usually looking for diabetics from a wide range of social and economic backgrounds. If you are ever asked about your current income, the information will only be used for statistical purposes. Clinical trials are usually held at universities, hospitals and private labs. Many have diagnostic centers scattered around the country. You are most likely to find a clinical trial for diabetes if you live in a large, metropolitan area though. As we said before, in many cases you may be reimbursed for your travel expenses, so don’t give up hope if the nearest testing facility is 100+ miles away. It is worth noting that there are a handful of other circumstances that may disqualify you from participating in free clinical trials. If you work for, or are directly related to anyone employed in the pharmaceutical industry, have participated in another clinical trial in recent months, have a serious heart condition, have a poor record of keeping appointments, have another serious disease that you are under treatment for or suffer from any physical or mental illness that would make adhering to instructions from researchers very difficult, it is unlikely that you will be chosen to participate in clinical trials that you have applied to.
What Kind of Medical Treatment Should I Expect?
In general, you will likely be working closely with a physician who is a highly trained medical specialist. The level of care you can expect to receive during your visits is excellent. Researchers are working on cutting-edge medications to treat diabetes, and you may be one of the lucky few to first have access to them. Obviously, not all new drugs work. That’s why they have clinical trials in the first place. In any event, you should have access to medical care that is well above and beyond the standard of what you are currently receiving for your diabetes. Many of these researchers are the best of the best in their respective fields of medicine. Don’t let the fact that you are not having to pay for treatment influence your opinion of what kind of care to expect.
What Free Diabetic Services Will I Receive?
Diabetics will most likely receive more than just the new treatment or medication that is being tested. The lab will probably supply you with a new blood glucose monitor as well as test strips to last throughout the trial period. Trials can last anywhere from a few weeks to several years. You will also have regular lab tests done free of charge. This should include regular A1C tests as well as blood work to test for any possible side effects. In a typical 1 year trial, you will likely receive medical care and products that would amount to many thousands of dollars if you had to pay for them yourself. Tests will likely be performed more often than you would normally expect, since researchers are usually much more interested in the accuracy of their findings, rather than the expense of lab fees. You will likely receive regular check-ups and be asked a LOT of questions during them.
Are Free Clinical Trials For Diabetics Safe?
Generally speaking, as long as the clinical trial you are participating in is being conducted in the United States or Canada, they should be completely safe. If there is any question as to a “bad reaction”, you will likely be taken off of the new treatment immediately. Keep in mind that 50% of those taking part in clinical trials for diabetes are likely in a control group being given a simple placebo. So, there is at least a 50/50 chance that the new “treatment” will have no affect upon you whatsoever. You should expect to have access to a physician from the clinical trial on a nearly round-the-clock basis, in the event that something does go wrong. It’s probably safe to say that you will receive the best medical care you have ever had for your diabetes throughout the clinical trial.
What Are The Downsides/Risks Associated With Clinical Trials For Diabetics?
Probably the most frequent complaint from diabetic test subjects of clinical trials is in regards to the strict adherence to dietary restrictions that is necessary in some studies. It is extremely important that test subjects stick to meal plans that are a mandatory part of these tests though. Not all clinical trials have such dietary restrictions, but they are often an integral part of many studies. The second most common complaint is the amount of time that you may be asked to spend on tracking your progress, or lack thereof. You may be expected to keep a journal of everything you eat. You may have to check your blood glucose levels more often than you are used to. You may have to keep a log book of how you are feeling at certain points in the day. You will definitely be asked a LOT of personal questions about your health, and you will need to show-up regularly for appointments. Most clinical trials take months or even years to complete, so it can get tiring after awhile. This is not a “something for nothing” proposition. You will be expected to keep up your end of the bargain. The pay-off can be immense though, especially if you happen to be one of the lucky test subjects that first receives what could ultimately end-up being the “cure” for diabetes.
What Happens When The Clinical Trial Concludes?
This can be a bit of a let-down, because even if the new treatment you received worked great for you, it may not have worked well for everyone else, and it may ultimately not be submitted to, or approved for use by, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Unless the trial is in its final stages, it is unlikely that you will be able to continue to use the product after the clinical trial is over. You may not even be told what the name of the drug is or whether or not you were part of a control group that was given a simple placebo. It depends upon the situation of the individual trial. In any event, even after trials are concluded, it may take a number of years for the drug to be approved for sale by the FDA, and it may be very expensive if/when it is first made available to the public.
Where Can I Find Free Clinical Trials For Diabetics?
The Internet is the fastest way to find out where the latest trials are being held, and what the qualifications are to participate. Information on new programs can appear on any given day. Most have a limited number of openings and tend to start fairly quickly, once the trial is announced. Below are a number of links to sites we know of that frequently list free clinical trials for diabetics. Please let us know if you have any additional sites you know of, so we can add them here. You may contact us any time via our Contact Form .
Sources of Free, Ongoing Clinical Trials For Diabetics
Acurian – Lab looking for Type 2 diabetics for nationwide clinical trials. Project may cover time and travel expenses.
ClinicalTrials.Gov – U.S. Government website run by the National Institutes of Health that provides a database of worldwide clinical trials for a number of diseases.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases – Another National Institute of Health website that provides search capability for all types of clinical trials being conducted at the NIH research hospital in Bethesda, MD.
The Mayo Clinic – List of current clinical trials being held at the Mayo Clinic. Locations in Florida, Arizona and Minnesota.
DiabetesTrialNet – This organization is currently conducting studies on oral insulin and natural history of Type 1 diabetes.
The Scripps Institute – Non profit institute that holds regular trials for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics in La Jolla and Chula Vista, California.
AMCR Institute – Conducts cutting-edge trials of new medications and devices for diabetes and metabolism. Testing is conducted in the San Diego, California area.
NetWellness – A list of all current clinical trials for diabetics taking place at University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University and Case Western Reserve University.
Clinical Connection – Website provides a searchable index of clinical trials for many diseases. Includes e-mail notification service for new clinical trials.
CenterWatch.Com – Another website that provides search and notification feature to help you find clinical trials in your area.
More Information On Clinical Trials
A short video on what to expect from participating in clinical trials. A good overview, though not specific to those seeking clinical trials for diabetes treatment.