Financial Interests Less Important to Patients

“We found that the patients we surveyed rated most types of financial disclosures less important in influencing their decisions to participate than other factors, like the risks and benefits of the proposed treatment,” said Kevin Weinfurt, Ph.D., deputy director of the DCRI’s Center for Clinical and Genetic Economics, and lead investigator on the study. “We also found that some patients are savvy enough to distinguish between different types of financial relationships, and they have different reactions based on these distinctions.”

More than 3,600 diabetes and asthma patients were surveyed for this study, and the researchers asked each to answer questions related to their willingness to participate in a hypothetical clinical trial. Each electronic survey contained one of five financial disclosure statements.

This disclosure stated that the study leader could gain or lose money depending on the outcome of the study, Weinfurt said. Nearly 30 percent of respondents presented with this disclosure were unwilling to participate in the trial, as compared to 25 percent of respondents presented with a generic disclosure, and 20 percent of those who were told the investigator received payments from industry to cover the cost of running the study.

In addition to their willingness to participate in the trial, the subjects’ reactions to the financial disclosures were also assessed as they related to level of surprise, confidence in the quality of the science, and trust of the researcher and the institution. The relationships between researchers and industry are becoming more complex, Weinfurt said, leading to greater interest and visibility for this issue as it relates to patients.; Source: Duke University Medical Center