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J Clin Pharmacol. 2002 Apr;42(4):365-75.

The recruitment of normal healthy volunteers: a review of the literature on the use of financial incentives.

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  • 1The Ohio State University, Columbus 43203, USA.


Unresolved issues of ethical, methodological, and legal concerns in the use of normal healthy volunteers persist. Financial incentives in their recruitment offer a unique ethical dilemma because of questions surrounding payment. A review of literature was conducted to obtain research systematically examining volunteer motivation and the role offinancial incentives. The primary selection criterion was motivation and payment to volunteers; seven studies met the criterion for review. Studies that have systematically investigated volunteer motivation have found financial rewards to be an important motivator among normal healthy volunteers in their decision to participate in clinical trials. Also evident is that differences based on demographic characteristics exist in the motivation and rates of volunteerism. Ethical issues surrounding the use of normal healthy volunteers are discussed, with attention to the issue offinancial incentives (e.g., economically vulnerable volunteers, undue inducements). Regulations, guidelines, and recommendations are discussed with regard to volunteers and financial incentives.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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