Compensation and Reimbursement

1. What is Compensation?

Compensation can mean two distinct things:
  1. When participants receive money or other benefits for their participation in the clinical trial, or

  2. When they receive a payment or other services if they suffer any harm from a clinical trial (insurance/indemnity).
Both are called compensation and described in this lesson.

The practice of compensating participants for taking part in a clinical trial has been in place for more than 200 years. However, as one study points out (1), this has always remained a matter of debate with no universally accepted standards – mainly for ethical and moral reasons. So, why then is compensation paid in research? Compensation can be useful to recruit the required number of trial participants in the given time frame. It can be paid for relieving participants of financial burden or recognising time sacrifice or as appreciation of their contribution to science; it can also be useful to motivate healthy volunteers to take part in Phase I clinical trials.