Last week, and later this week, I’m participating in a blood study to generate some extra income.  The personal finance app CalendarBudget will track the extra income for me.

This blood study is drug testing on human subjects, but it’s not as bad as it may sound. These studies are mainly for introducing clones of brand name medication which have an FDA requirement for clinical trials, even though they are using essentially the same chemicals as the brand name drug. In the case of the study, I’m participating in, its for Asthma.

I go in Wed afternoon, have dinner, fast until the next morning, then take 2 small puffs from an inhaler and they draw blood from me 19 times over the next 24 hours or so. Total blood taken is less than a regular donation at a blood donation clinic. Then I leave on Friday afternoon. Do this cycle twice (once for the brand name drug, once for the new clone) and they pay me $1,100.

For me, this is a sweet deal since they have WIFI there. I can bring my laptop, surf the internet and work from there (not to mention the 2 big-screen TVs and a huge list of DVD movies). There are a number of places around that do this, all over the US and Canada (and I imagine elsewhere). Here are a few around the Toronto area:

  • PharmaMedical
  • Allied-Research
  • Apotex
  • Biovail (now out of business)

You are paid for your time, and there are on-site doctors in case of adverse effects.

I noticed while there that most of the subjects are “career lab-rats” (as I call them). They have been to dozens of these studies. I don’t think it pays well enough to live off, but it’s not too shabby. Of course, you have to wait between studies for your blood to fully replenish and for the drug to completely clear out of your system, but otherwise, you can go as often as you like. I don’t think I’d want to be going so often as these people, but the risks seem fairly minimal to me, given that these feel more like “getting the required paperwork for FDA approval” than actual tests.

What creative ways have you thought of to generate some extra income?

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