Undisclosed payments in research

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7373.1174 (Published 16 November 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:1174

Patients have the right to know motivations of researchers

  1. Jacqueline M Atkinson, senior lecturer (j.m.atkinson@clinmed.gla.ac.uk)
  1. Department of Public Health, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8RZ
  2. Marix Drug Development Limited, Marix, Cardiff CF11 9UY

    EDITOR—Rao and Sant Cassia discussed the ethics of undisclosed payments to doctors recruiting patients in clinical trials.1 For many years now the greater Glasgow community and primary care local research ethics committee has insisted that reference to doctors' payment is included in the patient information sheet that goes to all potential participants. I object to the payment being hidden behind such phrases as “your doctor's research fund will be paid,” which a number of medical research ethics committees allow, and I note that the phrase “for the additional work involved” often appears.

    Although the NHS and NHS Scotland are the remit of two different parliaments, cross border acceptance of approval by medical research ethics committees exists. Patients are also likely to see the NHS as a whole and the ethical principles of doctors and other healthcare professionals as not having regional variations. In the …

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