Saturday, April 08, 2006

Clinical trials

My next door neighbor is, as I am, almost 40 and a mother of two. She's a healthy, sporty, red-haired woman who dresses well, has a very strong northern accent and is really, really nice. Her husband is also a very nice chap who, unlike most men, quite likes to chat. He seems to be very fond of his wife and recently presented her with a brand new Volvo hardtop convertible - a present for her 40th birthday (which isn't until next year); they now have three cars parked in their driveway as, sensibly, she did not want to part with her other Volvo Estate, which comes in handier for long family trips (they usually spend their holidays in France or in the North).
Anyway, they are reasonably well off and she quit her job recently because it just wasn't worth the hassle: he works and earns enough for the four of them.
With that said, I really do wonder what went through their nice and pretty heads when they recently agreed on her taking part in some clinical trials for a big pharmaceutical company. Even though the trials are routine testing procedures on ibuprofen (which has been on the market for quite some time) and she's staying for 12 days in a nice clinic (with pool, billiards, good food and lots of little luxuries) and receiving three thousand pounds for it, after all the bad publicity generated by the trial that went awfully wrong last month, why would anyone who does not need the money go through it ?! There's always a chance, however slight, of something not going as planned; hence the existence of the whole trial process.
Some people, usually students and over-65's, do routinely resort to taking part in clinical trials to earn extra income. I've heard of an 82-year-old lady who has used the extra money to travel to the Seychelles, Mauritius and Thailand with her 83-year-old boyfriend; she has nothing to loose, so why not take all the risks and enjoy life to the fullest while she still can.
It ought to be different for a young mother of two who's well off in life, right?

No comments: