Physician compensation for industry-sponsored clinical trials in multiple sclerosis influences patient trust

E. Klein, A. J. Solomon, J. Corboy, J. Bernat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background Perceived physician financial conflicts of interest of can affect patient trust. Payment to physicians for industry sponsored clinical trials in multiple sclerosis is a relatively new potential source of physician conflict of interest. There is limited available data on how physician payment for trial involvement in multiple sclerosis clinical trials may influence patient trust. Objective To understand how patient trust is influenced by information about physician payment for multiple sclerosis clinical trials. Methods An anonymous online instrument was developed. Results 597 people with multiple sclerosis participated in the study. The study found that 61% of patients who had not previously participated in a clinical trial estimated that they would have lower levels of trust in their physician if the physician was paid for involvement in their clinical trial. Among former clinical trial participants, 38% self-reported a lower level of trust. Other potential physician-industry relationships, such as industry consulting or giving industry-sponsored talks, also adversely affected trust, though to a lesser extent than physician payment for subject participation in clinical trials. Conclusions Results of this study demonstrate that physician payment for study participation in multiple sclerosis clinical trials is a potential conflict that can adversely affect patient trust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-8
Number of pages5
JournalMultiple sclerosis and related disorders
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Clinical trials
  • Conflict of interest
  • Industry-sponsored clinical trials
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Professional conduct and ethics
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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