Performance Improvement 2008. Are Cancer Patients Concerned About Possible Financial Conflicts of Interest Between Researchers, Medical Centers and Drug Companies?


This study surveyed cancer clinical trial participants to determine their attitudes regarding financial ties between researchers, medical centers, and companies whose drugs are being tested and potential safeguards. There are two major reasons some might be concerned about financial conflicts of interest in the clinical research: they might increase risks to participants or undermine the scientific integrity of the research. A survey on financial conflicts of interest and potential safeguards was developed and subjected to cognitive and behavioral pre-testing. Trained interviewers, unaffiliated with the underlying cancer trials, conducted in-person interviews with 253 individuals (93 percent response rate) participating in cancer research trials at 5 geographically diverse medical centers in the U.S.

Most patients participating in the clinical trials: (1) were not worried about financial ties between researchers, medical centers, and drug companies whose drugs were being tested, (2) reported that they would have enrolled in the trial even if they had known about such financial ties, and (3) found these financial ties ethically acceptable. Research participants preferred to know that there was an oversight system in place to protect against conflicts of interest rather than to have the detailed financial ties of researchers or the institution disclosed to them.

Report Title: Financial Conflicts of Interest and their Regulation: The Perspectives of Research Participants,
Agency Sponsor:
NIH, National Institutes of Health
Federal Contact: Peter S. Alterman, Ph.D., 301-496-7998
Performer: Ezekiel J. Emanuel

View full report


"PerformanceImprovement2008.pdf" (pdf, 1.29Mb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®