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Students turn away from medical test
Updated: 2004-09-11 09:34

Students are shying away from participating in blood pressure pill research by a pharmaceutical laboratory at Fudan University's medical school, even though volunteers are given 1,000 yuan (US$120).

The recruitment notice, posted by a Fudan student named "Minmin" on the university's online message board, asks for male students in good health aged 20 to 30 to have blood samples taken after taking pills to reduce blood pressure.

But many students said their health is more important than volunteering for the tests.

"It makes me feel as if they were doing animal experiments," said Ying Zhixue, a Fudan student. "How can they select students so sloppily?"

Shu Jie, another Fudan student, said that most students wouldn't risk their own lives and health on such ventures without any legal protection.

But according to Huang, one of the project's researchers, the research project is routine.

"We only need people to provide samples," Huang said.

Minmin wrote on the recruitment notice that "the medicine we are testing has already been on the market for a long time. It will not harm anyone's health. The test is extremely safe."

People with low blood pressure can not volunteer as test subjects.

Beginning on October 1, the test requires volunteers to take two types of pills once a day for an entire week.

Both pills have the same effect, but one is made domestically while the other is from overseas.

Researchers said volunteers will have 25 blood samples taken - three milliliters each time.

Twenty-two people are needed for the study, which lasts three weeks.

Wang Linda, an official with Shanghai Drug Administration, said volunteer recruitment was only allowed in medical tests approved by the national drug administration.

Yet there are students who support the test.

Sun Yimin, a postgraduate student at the medical school, said it was common for research projects to recruit volunteers this way.

A student who claims to have volunteered for previous medical studies said he would be willing to do it again.

"I didn't appear to have any discomfort after the first time," said the second-year postgraduate student surnamed Lu at Tongji University. "Anyway the reward is an attractive amount for us students."

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