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FAQ's / Reasons to Participate

...Consider Participating in a Research Study…

And here are nine reasons why this makes sense …


  1. Free lab work, exam, x-ray, and study-related drug.
    “I have benefited immensely from all the physicals, free x-rays, and laboratory studies, as well as, the five years of free calcium” –Nayoda Kefauver of Frederick, Maryland

  2. Most studies will offer you reimbursement for your time and travel.
    Stipends range from $50 to as high as $1,500 or more –depending on the study.

  3. You will help further research in finding new and improved medications that will lead to a cure.
    Everyday we get closer to a cure and everyday we provide someone with arthritis relief! Unfortunately, the greatest roadblock to completing research studies is the inability to get enough volunteers.

  4. You will be monitored carefully and frequently by experienced research staff.
    “I feel very safe and comfortable participating in clinical studies. I can speak to Dr. Wei at each of my visits. Blood work is done frequently to monitor my body’s response to the treatment, and when I have my infusions (of medicine), the staff are checking on me every fifteen minutes. The care I receive continues to meet my expectations.” Mary Ann Marvil- Sharpsburg, Maryland

  5. You will receive cutting-edge therapy!
    Many of the drugs undergoing study have been shown to be more effective than available treatments. Often, the only way to gain access to these miraculous medicines is through a clinical trial.

  6. You can have your life saved… literally!
    Every year, 6-7 patients who undergo screening for our studies are found to have serious medical conditions they didn’t know existed. Some of these problems can be life-threatening. An example… John Alexander volunteered for a clinical trial at Arthritis Treatment Center. As part of the screening he had a chest x-ray. It was abnormal. He was rushed to the hospital and had emergency surgery for an aortic aneurysm. The surgeon told him if he had waited another 24 hours, he would have died. R.B. Omo had an abnormal ECG when he was screened. He was sent immediately to his cardiologist and had an emergency heart bypass procedure done that saved his life!

  7. You will be invited to our annual research patient appreciation dinner in October. It is open to research patients by invitation only.
    “This is a wonderful affair at Dutch’s Daughter. I enjoyed myself immensely and would recommend it to everybody”—says Tom Merritt

  8. You can benefit by relief of your arthritis pain and offer hope to others who have arthritis.
    Colleen Clancy heard an ad for a research study at Arthritis Treatment Center. Ms. Clancy had horrible knee pain and trouble walking. She met the qualifications and enrolled in a study for osteoarthritis of the knee. She had never been here before. As part of the study, she received an arthroscopy. “The arthroscopy was very helpful.” She feels that the procedure and the study medication have benefited her, as is evident in her ability to do things now she had difficulty doing before. Recently, she ran a half-marathon!

  9. You can prevent your disease from progressing.
    Before Jenny Parker came to Arthritis Treatment Center to participate in a research study, she had constant knee pain. “I’m glad I came here,” she said. She is feeling great now. Her ability to get into the shower and go up stairs has really improved since she started treatment at Arthritis Treatment Center. She exercises daily on her Gazelle, doing as much as 3 to 4 miles a day.

Have doubts? This is what we sometimes hear…


  1. “I don’t want to be a guinea-pig!”
    The drugs under study have been carefully tested in both animals as well as humans long before they reach us. Think of yourself as a participant in the future of new arthritis treatment. Someone was volunteering for clinical studies—before Tylenol and Aspirin were introduced. These drugs also have potential side-effects and are used by millions of people now everyday.

  2. “I’m worried about side effects…”
    Clinical trials have to list “all” potential side effects of medicines. The word that needs to be stressed is “potential.” Most people do not experience those side effects… you will be monitored carefully. And remember… all medicines, regardless of whether they’re FDA approved or not, have potential risks. To minimize these risks, we carefully track all parts of a patient’s visit. We leave nothing to chance.

  3. “I don’t want to get placebo…”
    A placebo is a sugar pill. What’s interesting is that 40% of patients who receive placebo in arthritis clinical trials still improve. You will be no worse off than you are now and quite probably, you’ll feel much better. And… the chance for getting placebo is usually only 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 anyway. Even more important, if you don’t feel you’re getting better, you can drop out of the study at any time.

  4. “Will I have the study explained to me clearly?”
    Patient safety is the most important consideration. Each study is explained in detail. The process of informed consent, knowing what to expect, is extremely important and we take a lot of time explaining this. Great care and attention is made to see that you are comfortable. This is why our screening appointment is lengthy. We want to make sure you understand the study, answer your questions, and ensure you understand the processes.

  5. “I don’t have the time…”
    Study visits are clearly outlined at the start of your study. This will allow you to plan easily and ahead of time—knowing when you will need to come in for a visit. Our research staff is very flexible in planning your visits. Our research staff tries to work with your schedule to be as flexible for you as needed.

  6. “How expensive is it?”
    Most of our studies have a sponsor so that study-related care is free of charge to study participants. By participating in a study, you can avoid having to pay for your arthritis care! In many studies you even get paid a stipend for time and travel!

  7. “My relatives don’t want me to…”
    They don’t have your pain. Even though they’re well-meaning, if they knew more about our center and the special attention and care we give our research patients, they would want to participate too!

There is one downside I haven’t mentioned.


Not all arthritis patients qualify. There are specific criteria that a patient needs to satisfy in order to be accepted. But the only way to know whether you will be accepted is to give us a call.


So… please consider participating in an arthritis clinical trial. You will save money on arthritis medical costs, you’ll have access to new medicines, and you’ll be making a huge contribution to medical research which will eventually lead to a cure for arthritis. You’ll also receive excellent medical care that no insurance company can take away from you!


There are no hidden tricks, gimmicks, or secrets. Find out more. It won’t cost you a cent.


Just give us a call to see if you qualify...


Call Michelle Grimm at (301) 624-1164 or 888 71-STUDY.


"My problems began about seven years ago with a gradual worsening of my physical condition. It got to the point in 1995 where my pain was actually so severe that I had to quit my job because I hurt so bad. There would be so many days where I was in horrible pain that I would spend days in bed unable to move. On the days that I was able to get out of bed, it would take me hours to do it. It was terrible. I was at my end. Then, in 1995, I came to Arthritis Treatment Center for help. Within a couple of months, I started to see some relief. I guess after all those years of hurting I wanted immediate relief. I entered a study of a new drug for rheumatoid arthritis called ENBREL. The results are amazing. I have been pain free for about a year now. I am now a full time student and have my life back together now."
Therese McKinney - Taneytown, Maryland

“Being in a research study at the Arthritis Treatment Center has made a world of difference.  My pain has almost disappeared!  My office visits are free along with my medicine.  One of the good things about being in a research study is that it doesn’t take a lot of time out of my schedule like I thought it would.  It’s made a big difference in my life.  I just wish I would have found help sooner and participated in a research study--long before I went through my pain!” Steven R. McCullough -
Frederick, Maryland

“I had lots of pain and was depressed!  I was not able to function well in any phase of my life!  I have been under Dr. Wei’s care for 15 years.  During that time, I have been offered the opportunity to participate in several different drug study programs.  Dr. Wei and his skilled staff have been very attentive to my overall health and level of discomfort.  They have been diligent in the search for a treatment regimen, which will help me function at my best with the limitations I have.  My experience with ATC has been very good.  They have met my expectations and I am feeling better.” 
Candace Lange –
Hagerstown, Maryland
Mrs. Heimer had seen other specialists before coming to ATC.  Once Dr. Wei saw her he was able to diagnosis her condition quickly and begin an aggressive treatment.  Mrs. Heimer says, “I couldn’t reach the top shelf in any room, I couldn’t feed my dog until the afternoon, because I couldn’t pick up her dish until my joints were no longer stiff—I couldn’t do anything!  I was truly handicapped.  I even had to install a raised toilet seat.  After 6 weeks of treatment, I can do the things I couldn’t do before.  I live life now in the slow lane, but I live it pain free.”  She continues, “I have recently enrolled in a rheumatoid arthritis study.  I did my own research before enrolling, and Dr. Wei’s research team also provided me with information.  I consulted both 2nd and 3rd opinions.”  We asked Mrs. Heimer about her concerns of possibly receiving placebo or potential side effects.  She says, "placebo wasn’t a concern, because placebo is harmless.  And, if I experience a side effect I report it.  The research team keeps in contact with me regularly.  I feel more than comfortable in their hands and I don’t want anyone else to live like I have had to.”
Mildred Heimer –
Hagerstown, Maryland

“I have participated in several clinical research studies for my arthritis. I participate because I hope I will feel better, but more because I don’t want someone else to have to live with arthritis pain. I’m here for future generations. I don’t feel like I’m guinea pig at all. In fact, I feel smart—I’m getting my arthritis care free, I get to see Dr. Wei at everyone of my visits if I have a question, and I get paid to receive medicine that keeps my arthritis is remission. I’ve never had a bad reaction to any of the study drugs and I feel very safe and comfortable. Dr. Wei and the staff take very good care of me. I encourage everyone to consider participating in a clinical research study, which might help them and other people.”
Willa Ricketts –
Frederick, Maryland

“I have screened for several studies, and I finally got into one… on my third try. It was a short study, which worked with my business schedule and suited me fine. The study procedures were explained to me well in advance, and I knew ahead of time when and how much time I would need at my visits. In fact, two of my visits were back-to-back 12 hour visits, which required that I was in the office for most of the day. The staff made me feel very comfortable, they brought me breakfast and lunch, and I watched movies. They took great care of me. If I was asked to participate in another study, I know I will give strong consideration.” Jean Herlihy –
Frederick, Maryland

“One of the considerations I make when entering a study are: What are my chances of actually receiving the study drug versus placebo, and is there an open-label extension study, which will allow me to continue receiving the drug and the benefits of being in a study. I don’t really worry about being called a guinea pig. If the study is helping to keep my arthritis in remission, that’s good. As a study participant all of my office visits and blood work are free, and the research staff asks a lot of questions to make sure I’m doing well.”
Christopher Carlson –
Laytonsville, Maryland


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