Holly Fernandez Lynch and I discuss clinical research ethics, including challenge trials, research subject payment, and diversity in medical research with co-hosts Rahima Ghafoori and Caroline Gozigian (UVA Law '23). In this episode, Holly introduces the basic regulatory framework governing clinical trials, with a focus on laws and rules impacting payment. She also discusses the benefits of and concerns about human challenge studies, and shares some historical examples. In the next episode, Part II of our interview, we explore issues of coercion, inducement, and exploitation more explicitly.
Holly Fernandez Lynch, JD, MBE, is Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM), University of Pennsylvania. She co-chairs the PSOM Research Ethics and Policy Series (REPS) and serves as Assistant Faculty Director of Online Educational Initiatives in the Department, where she helps lead the Master of Health Care Innovation. She has a secondary appointment as an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.
A lawyer and bioethicist by training, Professor Fernandez Lynch’s scholarly work focuses on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pharmaceutical policy, access to investigational medicines outside clinical trials, clinical research ethics, and the ethics of gatekeeping in health care. Her specific areas of expertise include Institutional Review Board (IRB) quality, payment to research participants, research prioritization, pre-approval access pathways (e.g., Expanded Access, Emergency Use Authorization, and Right to Try), and efforts to balance speed and certainty in drug approvals, including pathways that rely on post-approval trials such as accelerated approval.
Lynch HF, Darton TC, Levy J, McCormick F, Ogbogu U, Payne RO, Roth AE, Shah AJ, Smiley T, Largent EA. Promoting Ethical Payment in Human Infection Challenge Studies. Am J Bioeth. 2021 Mar;21(3):11-31. doi: 10.1080/15265161.2020.1854368. Epub 2021 Feb 4. PubMed PMID: 33541252.
Shah SK, Miller FG, Darton TC, Duenas D, Emerson C, Lynch HF, Jamrozik E, Jecker NS, Kamuya D, Kapulu M, Kimmelman J, MacKay D, Memoli MJ, Murphy SC, Palacios R, Richie TL, Roestenberg M, Saxena A, Saylor K, Selgelid MJ, Vaswani V, Rid A. Ethics of controlled human infection to address COVID-19. Science. 2020 May 22;368(6493):832-834. doi: 10.1126/science.abc1076. Epub 2020 May 7. PubMed PMID: 32381590.
Largent EA, Heffernan KG, Joffe S, Lynch HF. Paying Clinical Trial Participants: Legal Risks and Mitigation Strategies. J Clin Oncol. 2020 Feb 20;38(6):532-537. doi: 10.1200/JCO.19.00250. Epub 2019 Jun 14. PubMed PMID: 31199697.