Question:  Is there a specific regulation that you can direct me to regarding the specific rules that outline compensating a physician for referring a patient to our site for recruiting of a study?
– Regulatory Affairs Professional, CRO


WCG IRB does not allow referral fees (offering or accepting payment for referring patients to research studies, sometimes referred to as “finder’s fees”) for medical professionals or research staff. This is in accordance with the American Medical Association Code of Medical Ethics which states, “Offering or accepting payment for referring patients to research studies (finder’s fees) is also unethical.” Some states have laws that ban such practices.  However, it is acceptable to reimburse for activities directly related to performance of the research and at a rate not exceeding the fair-market value for the level of activity performed.  These kinds of activities might include chart review to find eligible subjects.


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