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Clinical Insider
Clinical Insider

IQVIA launches participant payment system designed to support complex trials

Posted by on 05 June 2024
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Paying participants in drug trials is getting harder as studies become larger, more complex and decentralized according to IQVIA, which has launched a participant payment system with this in mind.

The system – which was discussed in a blog last week – provides direct payments to participants via a smart device application Participants submit expense claims, which are processed, validated and paid out through multiple options, including virtual VISA cards, ACH transfers, and checks.

The system – which can run transactions in 180 countries - also offers support for US tax requirements, including W-9 collection, TIN validation, and 1099 reporting.

Shaun Williams senior director, clinical trial payment solutions, IQVIA Technologies, told Clinical Insider “Sponsors encounter significant challenges when managing participant payments in clinical trials. Payments can be a critical motivator for participants to join and remain in trials, however, there is often a gap between participants' expectations and the actual payments received.

“And current payment methods, such as reloadable gift cards, debit cards, paper checks, and wire transfers, are often cumbersome and inefficient. Delays in payments can create dissatisfaction among participants, and impact enrolment or retention rates.”

Williams predicted IQVIA’s system would reduce the trial sites’ management burden.

“IQVIA research indicates over 80% of participant payments are managed directly by sites. This responsibility involves handling complex payment processes, which can result in delays and inefficiencies, negatively affecting both participants and site financial operations,” he said.

Williams added the new tech is compatible with decentralized and hybrid trial models by offering multilingual support and various payment methods including micro-payments.


Data suggests people are more likely to take part in drug trials in return for payments.

According to 2022 survey of nearly 4,000 adults, more than 50% of respondents said at least one cost-related consideration would be “very influential in their decision to participate in a hypothetical clinical trial.”

Another recent study suggests participant diversity could also be enhanced by streamlined, more efficient payment systems.

The research – published in the Journal of Clinical and Translation Science – reported that concerns about introducing bias are prompting sponsors and CROs to use payment systems that make people in disadvantaged socio-economic groups less likely to take part in trials.

IQVIA’s comments are in keeping with the results of a 2022 survey by trial finance lifecycle management firm Greenphire, which examined top challenges and opportunities for sponsors, CROs, and sites and found that payments to participants are a central concern for all stakeholders.


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