Ethan Cowan, MD, MS, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine and the Director of Research and Community Engagement in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital, Icahn Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY and our 2018 Andrew Markus visiting scholar.
Recently, I was a co-investigator on a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded project studying the initiation of buprenorphine/naloxone in the Emergency Department for patients with moderate to severe opioid use disorder. This medication assisted treatment is instrumental in the fight against the raging opioid epidemic in the United States. To help encourage patients to participate in the study we provided them with a monetary incentive for enrollment and follow-up. This incentive was not particularly large but for the Institutional Review Board (IRB) it raised concerns about undue inducement. In this study, and others like it, the concern of IRBs seems to hinge on the belief that money somehow impairs the ability of a potential research subject to provide valid informed consent for study participation. But, is this problem real or imagined? Continue reading “Time to Bury Concerns about Monetary Undue Inducements in Research”