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Grimwade et al highlight the current lack of a universal, standardised approach to the payment of participants taking part in controlled human infection model (CHIM) studies.1 As they discuss, payment for these studies is controversial, with many voicing arguments for and against higher payments, particularly for those studies which involve significant burdens to the participant. The main concerns about overpayment relate to the concepts of undue inducement or coercion, whereas underpayment raises concern about exploitation and unfair treatment. In many healthy volunteer trials compensation for travel, time and inconvenience are generally accepted as fair payment, but payment for risk is less accepted, with a belief that non-therapeutic studies should only incur minimal risks, so payment for risk should not be necessary.2 This paper argues that payment for risk should be included for CHIM studies. Their findings among members of the UK public and CHIM experts from a variety of centres suggest that there is support for greater risks being associated with higher payments for participants. The amount of compensation offered by a trial has to be approved by an ethics committee/institutional review board (IRB), and some research suggests that IRB members have concerns about higher payments being offered, with only approximately one-third agreeing that payment should be offered for risk.3 Without agreement and clear guidance for calculating compensation for these types of trial, there is bound to be …
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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