Mural Health Initiative to Eliminate Taxes
Mural Health Announces Initiative to Eliminate Taxes on All Payments Made to Clinical Trial Participants in Order to Increase Diversity in Clinical Research
(Berwyn, PA): Today, Mural Health, a patient-first clinical trial technology company, announced the launch of its effort to actively work with Congress to add a gross income exclusion for payments made to clinical trial participants. The requested exclusion would eliminate tax reporting requirements for payment recipients (patients and caregivers), which often create an obstacle that prevents enrollment in trials. The Company intends to remove a financial barrier that unintentionally limits access to experimental treatments for the millions of Americans on public assistance, and ultimately improve clinical trial diversity and the effectiveness of the drug development process. Additionally, the exclusion would eliminate unnecessary reporting and operational burdens for payors (research sites and/or trial sponsors).
As part of a clinical trial, patients and caregivers often receive payment for the reimbursement of expenses and other milestone-related stipends. These payments are designed to help manage lost wages and other trial-related hardships. But for the 90 million Americans on public assistance (~27 percent of the U.S. population), reportable income may threaten their eligibility for programs such as SNAP (food stamps) and Medicaid. It is critical to include this segment of the population in clinical trials to ensure that new therapies are effective for all Americans, not just a sub-segment of the country.
“Current tax requirements unintentionally prevent millions of Americans on public assistance from participating in clinical trials,” says Samuel Whitaker, co-founder and CEO of Mural Health. “This segment of our population includes many of the communities that are underrepresented in clinical trials and the drug development process. They are often forced to choose between enrolling or staying in a trial or maintaining access to benefits they rely on.”
Whitaker has drafted a detailed letter that will be delivered to the leaders of the House Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committees. The letter reviews, in detail, the relevant issues supporting the case for the income exclusion, and is currently being circulated among a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the clinical research ecosystem, giving the industry an opportunity to provide feedback and communicate support of the initiative.
(You can sign your support for this effort here)
“Excluding these communities from participation negatively affects a wide array of stakeholders, including the critically ill, prospective trial participants, small and large businesses, and the general American public,” says Whitaker. “Additionally, this barrier is in direct opposition to the FDA’s effort to diversify enrollment in clinical trials, which is, as they’ve stated, ‘fundamental to public health.’”
Whitaker is not the only one who wants Congress to remove the current tax and reporting hurdles. A breadth of organizations have signed onto Whitaker’s letter, including large and mid-sized pharma, research sites, and other members of the clinical trial space.
About Mural Health:
Mural Health is a technology company that exists to make it easier for individuals to participate in clinical research. The Company identifies opportunities where significant improvements can be made to the status quo and creates tech-centric solutions to make global clinical trial participation easier for both patients and caregivers. The Company’s Mural Link product offers functionality to manage global participant payments, travel, communications, and satisfaction analytics. Mural Health will continue to develop new functionality for Mural Link, while also funding other mission-aligned projects that advance its mission to make it easier to participate in clinical research. In 2023, Mural Health sponsored and launched The Portrait Project: a non-commercial platform that gives the world an intimate view into the deeply emotional and personal stories of the people who are involved in clinical trials. The Company is also planning several new products that seek to disrupt inefficiencies that are being nurtured by incumbent providers for their own benefit.
Immediate Interview with Mural Health’s Sam Whitaker available