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Participant FAQs

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Participating in clinical trials is a rewarding experience. It’s a chance to be part of pioneering medical projects that will change or even save lives. Read our FAQs for more information, or contact us if you’d like to find out more.

FAQs

What is a clinical trial, and what are you testing? #

A clinical trial is a way of testing a new medication or treatment. These trials are conducted to determine the safety and efficacy of the treatment before it can be released to the public. It is important that we understand how the human body responds to the treatment.

Clinical trials can be “early phase” studies where a treatment is tested to assess its general safety, and if there are any side effects. In this stage of testing, we also look at how the treatment is taken into the bloodstream, or broken down by the body. This is an important stage of the process, and every medication available to us today has been through this procedure. “Late phase” studies occur when early phase studies have been completed, and focus primarily on whether the new treatment is effective at combating the disease or condition it is intended to treat.

Why should I participate in a clinical trial? #

Healthy participants are paid for their time, but that’s rarely the sole reason for someone becoming a participant. It’s also about doing something for the greater good – it’s about supporting medical research that will help change and even save lives, maybe even the life of someone they know who will benefit from the development of a new therapy or drug.

Others join us as patients. Usually, these participants are people who are undergoing treatment for a condition or disease, and they’ve reached a stage where it’s time to explore new options, which can include being the first to try the next generation of therapies or drugs.

Check out our current trials

If I am healthy, why can I be considered for a trial to treat a particular condition or disease? #

Healthy volunteers play an important role in the development of a new medication or treatment. Before the treatment can be safely administered to patients with a particular condition or disease, it undergoes a comprehensive testing process which includes “early phase” testing to assess the general safety, and any potential side effects, in people who are healthy so that the precise effects of the treatment can be determined.

What happens during a clinical trial? #

Every trial is different, but generally speaking you’ll be admitted to our clinical trial centre in Perth the night before the study starts.

The safety and security of our team and participants is our priority, so on arrival your bag will be searched and you’ll undergo some standard tests, which may include screening for recreational drugs and an alcohol breath test.

With the admission process complete, you’ll be escorted to your assigned bed, with lockable drawers and a personal locker for your belongings. Read ‘What do you provide, and what do I need to bring?’ for more information about meals, entertainment and more.

During your stay, you’ll have several tests, including blood sampling, ECG measurements (traces of your heart rhythm) and blood pressure, and you will, of course, receive a dose of the study drug or a placebo.

All your individual study requirements will be outlined in your information sheet and consent form, including details about the length of your study (studies can range from two days to one month in duration).

Check out our current trials

How do I volunteer for a clinical trial? #

The first step in volunteering for a clinical trial is to find a trial you may be suited for – you can browse our list of current trials here, or complete a brief questionnaire where we can show you which of our trials are recruiting participants like you based on your age, gender, and other factors. The next step is to apply online by completing an online pre-screening questionnaire for the trial. If the information you provide indicates you may be eligible, our team will be in touch to discuss the trial, answer any questions you may have, and further assess your eligibility for a screening appointment.

If you are eligible for a screening appointment, our team will arrange a date and time for the appointment, and explain the screening procedures involved – generally, the screening appointment is a comprehensive medical check-up, and your results can be sent to you upon request. The screening team and doctors will determine whether or not you are eligible for the trial based on your results, and contact you to inform you of the outcome. Some trials may require a second appointment, such as an eye test, before we can fully determine whether or not you are eligible to participate.

If you are eligible for the trial, you may be offered a place. If you are unsuccessful in applying for a trial, the reason for this will be discussed with you, and you may be able to apply for another one.

Check out our current trials

What happens if I can't attend my screening appointment? #

If you are unable to attend your screening appointment, we may be able to accommodate you at another date or time, depending on the availability of screening appointments and the timeline of the study. A link to reschedule your appointment is generally included in the email confirmation of appointment, as well as a link to cancel the appointment if needed.

I applied for a clinical trial, but I haven’t heard back? #

Due to the high number of pre-screening applications we receive, it is not always possible to respond to each applicant individually. We aim to contact eligible applicants as soon as we can, and you are always welcome to contact our Recruitment team on 1300 546 327 to follow up on your application.

I applied for a clinical trial, but was told I’m not eligible? #

Each trial has its own requirements that determine whether or not an applicant is eligible to participate. Often, trial applicants may not be eligible for a particular trial, but eligible for another, based on the criteria specific to each trial.

General reasons that an applicant may not be eligible for a particular trial they have applied for can include: use of medication which is not allowed for the trial, being outside the age range required for the trial, not meeting the requirements for birth control, or having a particular condition or illness which would make participation in the trial unsafe for the applicant.

Some applicants may not be eligible for any of our Healthy Volunteer trials due to a significant illness or disease, but may be eligible for a patient trial targeting their condition. 

Please note that applicants with a recent history of recreational drug use, drug abuse or alcoholism, or recent major surgery, will not be eligible for any of our trials until a certain “washout period” has passed.

If you applied for a trial and are unsure of why you were not eligible, you are welcome to contact our Recruitment team on 1300 546 327 for more information, or to find another trial you may be eligible to participate in.

Why is birth control required for clinical trials? #

Birth control is required to participate in a clinical trial, for the duration of the trial and often for some time after the trial is complete, to prevent any possibility of a pregnancy occurring while a participant is involved in a trial. This is because it is not known how a new study drug may affect an unborn child.

Can I attend work or university while participating in a clinical trial? #

During the in-house stay for a trial, participants cannot leave the clinic to attend work or university. However, you are encouraged to bring any work you may need to complete to the clinic with you, as we can accommodate personal belongings such as laptops and books, as well as offering free Wifi. If you have work or study commitments that require attending an office or campus in-person, we often have shorter-stay trials, and may also have trials which do not involve an in-house stay and consist only of appointments.

Check out our current trials

What do you provide, and what do I need to bring? What can I spend my time on while in the clinic? #

All your meals and linen will be provided throughout your stay, as well as wireless internet access. You’ll also find a communal Playstation, TV, and DVD player within the unit, but feel free to bring your laptop computer, books, magazines, iPods, or other small devices. Many participants use their time in the clinic to catch up on work, study, or to relax.

You should also bring:

  • toiletries
  • light clothes
  • enclosed footwear (you must always wear these in the unit)

We’ll provide more details about the requirements for your study in your information sheet and consent form, including information about the duration of your study (studies can range from two days to one month). Please note, you’re not allowed to bring recreational drugs, alcohol, food or chocolate into the facility. Any positive tests for recreational drugs or alcohol will not be tolerated and you will be excluded from the trial.

Check out our current trials

What is the facility like where I’ll be staying? Do I get my own private room? #

You can see the facility in 3D below. You will be staying in an open clinic, similar to a hospital ward. You will not have your own private room, but there will be a curtain around your bed for privacy.

Do I need to follow any restrictions while participating in a clinical trial? #

Every trial has different requirements, but there are some common lifestyle restrictions across most of our trials. Generally, we require participants to refrain from strenuous exercise during the trial, and for a period of time before the trial begins. This is because exercise can temporarily affect the levels of certain substances in your body, which may appear abnormal in blood tests and disqualify you from participating in the trial, or make it difficult to determine which effects are due to the study drug (or placebo) and which are the result of exercise.

It is also common for a trial to require that you avoid certain foods such as grapefruit and starfruit, as they contain compounds which may affect how your body metabolises a study drug. Alternatively, a trial may require that you consume particular foods (eg. a high-fat breakfast which is provided) as part of the study. 

Additionally, caffeine and alcohol are not allowed in the clinic during in-house stays for all of our trials, and cannot be provided to participants.

Can I have visitors during a clinical trial? #

We generally allow visitors during visiting hours on weekends for longer trials. If you are participating in a trial with us, we will inform you of the visiting hours prior to checking in, and our clinic staff will aim to accommodate visitors within those hours. 

Will I be paid for participating in a clinical trial? #

In most instances, participants in a clinical trial are eligible for reimbursements for their time, travel expenses and parking; however, the payment, which has to be approved by the Ethics Committee, is not intended to cover loss of earnings or any risk associated with your participation.

As such, there is no cost for joining a clinical trial – all study-related medications, tests and procedures are provided at no charge to participants.

If, for any reason, you’re unable to complete the clinical trial, you’ll receive a partial payment, based on the number of visits you have made to our unit.

Please note, no deductions for any taxes will be made and participants are solely responsible for reporting any payment on their tax return.

How long will it take for my payment to be processed? #

Payment is processed and released two weeks after the specified end date of the trial, for the cohort you participated in. For example, if you participated in a trial with three follow-up appointments, but only completed two follow-up appointments and the trial offered partial reimbursement, your payment would still be processed two weeks from the date of the third follow-up.

Can I participate in more than one trial? #

Participants may only participate in one trial at a time, but many choose to return to Linear once they have completed a trial. If you would like to participate in multiple trials, or have recently completed a trial where you received an investigational product (either with us, or another organisation), there is a mandatory “wash-out” period before you can participate in another one. This is generally 30 to 60 days. If you would like to participate in another trial but are unsure if you may be eligible, our Recruitment team can advise you on 1300 546 327 or contactus@linear.org.au.

Can I participate in a trial at Linear if I don’t live in Perth? #

All of our trials are based in Perth, and require a screening appointment prior to determining whether or not you can participate in the trial. This means that you would need to be in Perth not only for the trial period itself, but for screening appointments prior to the trial beginning. Additionally, due to the nature of clinical trials, dates for each trial can change – while we do our best to accommodate your preferred dates, it is not always possible.

For this reason, it is not possible for participants who are based overseas or interstate to participate unless in Perth for an extended period of time.

Participants who live regionally in Western Australia and are confident they can commit to the requirements of the trial may apply.

If you are unsure of whether or not you may be able to participate in a trial, our Recruitment team can advise you on 1300 546 327 or contactus@linear.org.au

What are the risks associated with a clinical trial? Are clinical trials safe? #

New treatments undergo extensive testing before they can be tested in clinical trials, and each trial requires approval by an independent, government-registered ethics committee. 

While we do everything in our power to eliminate risk, there may be risks associated with participating in a clinical trial. We take every effort to determine any risks during pre-clinical and early clinical studies, but there may be side effects and other health risks that we are unable to anticipate, mainly because side effects can differ from person to person. All our participants are monitored by our team of clinical and medical professionals while on a trial, and the principal study doctor for each trial can be contacted at any time if required.

In short, you’ll have the very best clinical and medical professionals looking after you, but there is no way to predict with 100% certainty how a treatment will affect any given individual.

Further information about the safety of our trials can be found here.

What is a placebo? #

If you participate in a “placebo-controlled” clinical trial for a new medication, you may be randomly allocated to receive either the actual treatment or a placebo. A placebo is a dose which is as similar as possible to the medication (eg. in size, shape, colour, taste), but does not contain the active ingredient. Generally you will not know if you are receiving the new medication, or a placebo. 

Who collects and views my personal information? #

When you apply for a trial, we collect the information you provide and store it securely in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Any general personal information we collect may be viewed by members of the pharmaceutical company sponsoring the trial (the sponsor), the Human Research Ethics Committee who approved the trial, and government regulatory agencies (including the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration).

Moreover, throughout your trial our medical officers and staff will collect and record a range of medical information relating to your health, but this data can only be accessed by Linear personnel.

When the clinical trial results are reported in a formal document to the trial’s sponsor, you will only be identified through a clinical trial identification number. When the study is complete, your information is archived and only Linear personnel have access to your personal information.

Please note, when you arrive for each visit to our clinic, you’ll be asked to provide photo ID (eg. a driver’s licence, passport, proof of ID card) to verify your identity.

What is informed consent? #

Informed consent means that you can make a decision about participating with an understanding of the trial and what it involves. We need your informed consent before you can become a participant. Our Informed Consent Form (ICF) contains detailed information about the study and treatment, and you must read it before deciding whether or not to take part in the trial.

The ICF includes explanations about what the trial involves, the duration of the study, the frequency and length of the required visits, as well as any known risks and benefits associated with the study treatment. Crucially, to ensure your safety you must abide by all study restrictions that are outlined in the ICF.

Participation in any clinical trial is completely voluntary, and you’re free to ask questions about the trial – you should only consent to participate in the study (by signing the ICF) once you’re completely happy to do so. As a volunteer, you also have the right to refuse participation in a trial or to withdraw your consent at any time during the study, without penalty.

Your wellbeing and best interests are our primary concern, so if new information becomes available during the course of the trial – information that may affect your decision to continue with the trial – we will share the information with you as soon as possible.

Please note, our physicians can decide to withdraw a participant at any time, without the participant’s consent, if it becomes clear that it is not in the participant’s best interest to continue with the trial.

What are my responsibilities as a participant? #

In the interest of your safety, you must inform us about past and current medical conditions or allergies, including information about any medications you’re taking. Similarly, to ensure the integrity of the trial data, you must report any side effects you experience.

What happens if I don’t want to participate in a trial anymore? #

All participants have the right to withdraw from a trial at any point in the study, for any reason. You do not have to give a reason for ending your participation in a trial, and there are no consequences to withdrawing. Additionally, if you withdraw from a trial for a particular reason, you may still be able to apply for a different trial if you would like to, depending on the circumstances.

If you are a patient who was referred to participate in a clinical trial by your doctor, withdrawing from the trial will not affect your ability to access your usual care.

Who sponsors clinical trials? #

Most clinical trials are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, but they can be sponsored by other organisations or individuals, such as medical foundations, medical centres, universities and physicians. Physicians often sponsor clinical trials that evaluate whether a currently available therapy (that’s used for the treatment of one condition) can be used for the treatment of a different condition or disease.

Check out our current trials

Ready to become a clinical trial participant?

To find out more about becoming a paid clinical trial volunteer, call our Recruitment Team on 1300 LINEAR (1300546327), or contact us.
Contact us
Check out our current trials

 

How can you get onto a trial?

1. Answer our questions here to find out which trial suits you

2. Complete the pre-screening questionnaire

3. Get in touch to book in a screening appointment

4. Attend your appointment and find out if you’re eligible

Please Note: You can choose to participate or withdraw consent at any time

Pre-Screening
Questionnaire

Find out if you’re eligible

Attend
Screening
Visit

Attend our world-class facility for screening. Our medical doctors will confirm your eligibility to participate

Participate

Check-In & Check-Out in our world class facility by our knowledgeable team of medical doctors

Follow-up
Visit

After your follow-up visit, you are remunerated for participating