A male healthcare professional checking the blood pressure of a female patient.

Better pay for clinical trial participants

Gunnar Esiason, a rare disease patient advocate, shares his views on compensating patients for their contribution to clinical development.

By Urtė Fultinavičiūtė, Clinical Trials Arena

Paying patients for participating in clinical trials and reimbursing the additional costs of travel, food, and caregivers, have always been subjects of heated debate. Emerging voices like Gunnar Esiason, a patient advocate living with cystic fibrosis and leading patient-facing strategy at Florence Healthcare, says that the discussion on the value that the patient brings to clinical drug development needs to start now. “I don’t expect this to change overnight, but it is time to talk about it,” he says.

Esiason knows first-hand what it means to participate in clinical trials. Over the last decade, he has spent more time in clinical trials than out of them. While money should not be an incentive for patients to participate in clinical research, it is an important aspect to value them for what they truly are—a finite resource that drives clinical trials forward. Often, the pay and reimbursement do not match the actual patient burden, if they exist at all.

Esiason shares with Clinical Trials Arena his case for increased pay in clinical trials, what the current regulations and laws are in the US, and who needs to lead the change for more equitable compensation. Read more …