White Paper

Compensating Participants In Clinical Research: Current Thinking

By Dr. Lindsay McNair, MD, MPH, MSB, Chief Medical Officer, WCG

Reimbursements

In clinical research studies, it is not uncommon for monetary compensation to be provided to research participants; as reimbursement for study-related expenses, as compensation for time and effort, and even as incentive payments to encourage enrollment. Sponsors, researchers and Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) are often wary about payments in research participation, citing concerns about coercion and undue influence, whether real or perceived, and have avoided payments that are “too high.” But new research on how people make decisions about research participation, and new approaches to this question, bring a new perspective; are payments to participants actually too low? This paper explores this question, and whether we should, in fact, worry much less about restricting compensation for research participants.

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