Nimbleness in payment is the strong point of this patient reimbursement solution, through which Sermes CRO has managed over 7.000 operations and a volume of 1,65 million euros in 2021. “Functionally we manage PayPat directly through the Finance department. We decided to separate the service completely from the Start-up Unit with the aim to safeguarding the patients’ personal data in a department with access to a lot of clinical trials information”, explains Manuel Beltrán, Financial Director at Sermes CRO.
Healthy volunteers and patients
In the framework of any clinical trial, we could have on one hand, the healthy volunteers, essential in Phase I studies to ratify the tolerability of the agent. These volunteers are incentivised with an amount for each visit they carry out for the inconveniences caused. This compensation must not be so attractive that it incentivises the volunteer to participate for money, but enough to keep them during the whole study.
On the other hand, we have the patient, who must meet certain inclusion criteria related to the pathology that is being researched in the clinical trial and who is incentivised by access to novel medical treatments for the disease they have, as well as the attention of the research team. It also, aids towards contributing to the medical progress and at the same time cares for their health. These patients sometimes need to travel from distant areas and invest amounts that are not always available to them and need to be reimbursed as soon as possible.
Within the applicable data protection legal framework, the sponsor cannot access the patients personal data, each one is assigned a code, but then… How do you pay them? Easy. Just as many pharmaceutical and biotech companies which rely on PayPat already do.
How does PayPat work?
After working for twelve years, our reimbursement management service, has put a solution to a problem which for the sponsors of trials can be critical when it comes to guaranteeing the participation of patients in the investigations.
Either by transportation or loss of productivity, it is vital that the patients receive the reimbursement o payment the fastest way possible and strictly complying with the protection of their data. In addition, they must submit the withholding tax return (a minimum of 2% in the case of incentives) and provide patients with their withholding certificates.
The software that we use to register the information and to know the status of a payment at all times, is found within our internal management system and has been developed internally by the IT team of Sermes CRO.
“We are driven by patient satisfaction, the trust placed in us by the sponsor and the collaboration of the sites. The communication with all of them is ongoing and even though we never manage to meet each other personally we do create ties which bind us together”, concludes Marisol Coca, who leads the PayPat management team.