Nearly a quarter of us are turning medical trials for extra cash

Times are hard

A terrifying 23 per cent of London students have confessed they’ve taken part in risky medical trials to top up their loan.

Cash strapped Londoners are increasingly taking extreme measures as worrying figures reveal money troubles constantly play our minds.

Nada left in these pockets 

A new survey by Future Finance suggests there is a huge funding gap between London and UK average. Not that we didn’t know that already.

Not only do we have to work more than students in any other city — 72 per cent of London university students have a part-time job — but we end up with almost twice as much debt.

And it seems desperate times call for desperate measures: 21 per cent agreed the costs of living in London and tuition made them worry they wouldn’t be able to finish their studies.

And we’re turning to clinical trials to earn some extra dough in higher percentage than anywhere else (23 per cent compared to 13 of UK average).

UCL third year Peter Varga said: “I tested medicine for a pharmaceutical company, because it seemed like an easy way to earn some extra cash.

“You don’t have to have any qualifications to do a clinical trial, and the schedules are very flexible. But I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t need the money.

“My main concern is the long term consequences and undiscovered effects of these ‘prototype-pills’. These companies must be aware the majority of the people testing these pills are students.

“Although they do everything to make it as safe as possible, in my opinion they take advantage of us, and generally people who need money.”

It all comes down to pennies

And in future, more and more of us could become lab rats for cash.

Chief executive of Future Finance, Brian Norton says: “The new maintenance grant-to-loan changes for students from low income families still don’t address the large funding gap that exists.”