Greenphire’s ClinCard uses a debit card which is loaded by a research site to compensate and reimburse participants in clinical trials. The system will be used to manage payments across all of Duke University’s studies, which equates to more than 3,000 a year.
The card has been used by sponsors and contract research organisations (CROs) for a number of years – it formed part of Pfizer’s REMOTE trial in 2011, described by the Pharma Giant as the world’s first ever ‘virtual trial’ – and helps to automate and accelerate clinical payments in what Greenphire CEO Samuel Whitaker told us is “possibly the most complex industry to manage payments between businesses and individuals.”
“The challenges are primarily rooted in the need for the identities of the subjects to remain blinded to the sponsor and Contract Research Organisation (CRO),” he told Outsourcing-Pharma.com. “Greenphire's technology centralises and simplifies the flow of funds, and protects subject identities and related data.”
Furthermore, as payment management is not a core business, sponsors and CROs “are not well prepared to address the multitude of challenges that surround it,” he said, and therefore will often choose an outsourcing option.
“Payment execution is a complex business that requires specialized knowledge and staff with the appropriate mix of international banking, regulatory, and clinical research experience,” Whitaker continued.
“Additionally, in most studies, CROs and/or sponsors are not able to be exposed to the personal identities of the patients who require payment. This makes payment execution virtually impossible.”
Financial details of the Duke deal were not revealed, but the firm said the University had selected the ClinCard system following an intensive review of its participant payment processes.