Summary of our series “Before the Study”

This article is a summary of our series “Before the Study” which help you become more familiar with clinical studies, the creation of a participant file, the various elements that go into determining indemnities, as well as the criteria for participating in a study. 

What is a clinical study? 

The primary objective of a clinical study is to test new medication with the help of volunteers. These medications may have been created to treat either physical or mental ailments. 

Another objective for a clinical study is to help bring a generic medication to market. A generic medication is generally less expensive but just as effective and allows people suffering from various ailments to find relief without compromising their financial situation. 

Either way, these studies make medical advancements possible. And these advancements are in no small part possible due to our participants’ involvement. 

Each person who chooses to participate in one study or another does so for their own personal reasons. Many do it for pride and knowing what their contribution means to the medical field. Other participants appreciate that their collaboration also brings in additional revenue in the form of an indemnity. In all cases, our participants are treated with respect and consideration because it is due to them that these advancements are made possible. 

It is also important to mention that the clinical study industry in Canada is regulated. As such, an independent Research Ethics Board oversees the studies, the recruitment procedures, the documentation provided to the participants, as well as the indemnity associated with a study and ensures that every step of a study respects the participant and treats them with dignity. Every study found on our website has been through a rigorous verification process by the Research Ethics Board. 

How to open a file?

Before becoming one of our participants, you must first open a file. The process is simple and begins with a call to one of our agents. They will ask you a few questions and the call may last up to thirty minutes or so. You can also create your file online via our participant portal on our website. You can also visit our office where our team is available to assist you with opening your file.   

Once you have answered the initial questions, a medical appointment will be made. You will have the opportunity to receive a complete medical examination by a doctor who will complete a health assessment. It is at this stage that you will find out if you are eligible to participate in one of our studies. 

Once these three steps are completed, you will have a file with Altasciences and if your application is retained, you will be able to sign up for the studies that interest you. 

The collaboration of our devoted participants is essential to Altasciences’ mission. Our participants’ well-being is the most important part of the process. Our agents, doctors, and nurses are all available to answer any of your questions or concerns. Our team always ensures our volunteers’ comfort is top of mind. It is actually with this in mind that we, at Altasciences have taken it upon ourselves to demystify clinical studies. 

Why do we offer indemnities and how is the amount determined?

Once your file has been opened and your application accepted, you will undoubtedly be looking for a study in which to participate. The indemnity offered for participating in a study is often an influential decision-making factor when choosing between studies. What determines this amount? This is a question frequently asked by our participants. There are actually a number of factors that influence the amount you will receive for any one study. 

What you need to know is that contrary to popular belief, the amount you receive for any study is not based on the risks associated with it. 

It is actually linked to the number of medical visits you will need to participate in before the actual study begins, as well as the number and length of clinical stays and follow up visits that will help determine the amount of the indemnity. The amount is therefore determined by the number of stays and the number of return visits. 

Criteria for participating in a study

While researching our various available studies you will come across the study’s datasheet. Datasheets were created to quickly provide you with the essential information you need before signing up for a study in order to know if you are eligible to participate. 



In this example of a datasheet, important information is presented:


This is the code attributed to the study. You will need to provide this code if you choose to sign up for the study.

●Genders accepted for the study

Certain studies are restricted to only men or only women.

●Amount of the indemnity

●The dates for overnight stays at the clinic

●The number of return visits per period

These are obligatory follow up appointments at the clinic, following the end of a stay. 

●The no smoking sign

The presence of this symbol implies you must be a non-smoker /ex-smoker to participate in this study.

●The age of the participants

When you click the button “See Details and Apply,” you will view additional details regarding the study. It is in this section that you will learn about the arrival and departure times during the overnight stays as well as the dates for the follow up visits. 

Additional details regarding the specific admission criteria are also explained, such as the BMI (body mass index) required for the study, the type of medication being tested, and additional information related to the study, which is important to review before signing up for the study. 

Once you have made your decision on a particular study, you can sign up online or by calling our call centre. 


For more information, we invite you to read our other articles included in the “Before the Study” series:

●What is a medical study? A helping hand for society

●What are the Steps to open a File? 

●Why do we offer compensation and how is it determined?

●Understanding the Criteria for Participating in a Clinical Study

●Research Ethics Board (REB)