How to Participate in Experimental Drug Trials

Doctor discussing with patient
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If you've ever seen an ad for a clinical drug trial on television or in a newspaper or magazine, you may know what it's like to be interested in the possibility of serving as a test subject. In fact, your curiosity may have gotten the better of you, and you actually tried to sign up for the research study but ran into roadblocks accomplishing this goal.

If you're still wondering how to become a test subject for a new drug trial and want to participate in a drug trial but don't know where to go, you'll find the tips in this review helpful. The same applies if you are a biotechnology professional looking for job listings or more information on the industry and new drug development.

The following websites provide lists of current and upcoming new drug trials, criteria and contact information for those wanting to participate. Some sites also include information on drug interactions and discussions about the bioethics and safety of participating in new drug trials.

Thomson CenterWatch

Thomson CenterWatch Clinical Trials Listing Service is an incredible resource for anything to do with new drug development. Users can subscribe for free for email notification of new drug trials. The site contains news and information on clinical trials research, results, drug directories and a bookstore. Industry professionals will also find job postings in clinical research.

Biotrax Research

Biotrax Research Volunteer Support Group has sponsored, a free online directory service for study volunteers. This site has extensive listings for the U.S. by state, Canada, the UK and the rest of the world.

Clinical Connection

Register for free with Clinical Connection and have drug trial information sent to your email. Clinical investigators can use the service to recruit subjects who match study criteria. The site also sponsors a message board for members to share information on clinical trials or discuss other health topics. is a service of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) developed by the National Library of Medicine. Listings can be searched by condition, sponsor or status. Sponsors include American government organizations and international companies and institutes.

Medical News Today

Medical News Today provides a website with up-to-the-minute health news including a section devoted to clinical drug trials and a list of links to other clinical trials resources.

For information on new drug applications and the progress of new drugs through the FDA, and approvals, is a thorough and accredited reliable source. With free registration, you can access restricted documents, get FDA drug alerts and build your own library of drugs and interactions information. Though not a resource for upcoming clinical trials, the site contains news articles on currently released clinical trials results.

Wrapping Up

Signing up for a free clinical trial is no joke. The drugs you take as a result may or may not affect your body in an adverse manner. On the other hand, what if you want to participate because you have a medical condition? Then, you run the risk of being given a placebo instead of the new experimental drug that might improve it. With this in mind, tread lightly before signing up to be a guinea pig of sorts.