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Knowing doctor's financial interests doesn't deter clinical trial participants
Date:4/2/2008

DURHAM, N.C. -- A patient's willingness to participate in a clinical trial may be unaffected by the disclosure of a researcher's financial interests in the study, unless the amount of money a researcher stands to earn depends on the results of the trial, according to a new study by researchers at the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), Wake Forest University, and the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.

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 DCRIs 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.

The researchers published their findings in the April 2, 2008 online edition of the Journal of General Internal Medicine. The study was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

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.

The disclosure statements ranged from the generic -- the doctor running the trial might benefit financially from the study -- to the more specific -- dealing with per capita payments, and ownership of equity on the part of the researcher or the institution, Weinfurt said. We found that none of the disclosures significantly affected subjects willingness to participate with the exception of ownership of equity on the part of the researcher.

This disclosure stated that the study leader could gain or lose money depending
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Contact: Lauren Shaftel Williams
lauren.shaftel@duke.edu
919-684-4966
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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