Syneos Health Answers the Call to Accelerate Payments to Clinical Trial Sites During COVID-19


Recognizing the severe financial strain sites are experiencing during the pandemic, Syneos Health answered the call from the Society for Clinical Research Sites (SCRS) to support sites during this challenging time by working to release holdback funds. These are funds that are held back from the site until specific milestones are hit or the study is complete.

A 2019 SCRS survey found that 59% of sites have only three months or less operating cash.  With milestone payments at risk during the pandemic, the holdback payments could allow sites to keep their operations running and continue serving patients. 

To support these efforts, Syneos Health has implemented three new COVID-19 business processes to support customers to accelerate more than $15 million to sites in 35 countries (from March through August). These processes are aligned with the FDA and EMA COVID-19 guidance and being implemented according to national legislation and/or guidance.

  • Early release of holdback payments: Release of holdback payments was critical for sites to ensure financial stability.
  • Reimbursement of exceptional payments: Such as personal protective equipment (PPE, screening and testing, etc.) required as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Partial payments: For site visits that cannot be fully completed due to the pandemic.

“Cash flow is a critical success factor in any business. For sites operating through the challenges of the pandemic, releasing holdback funds offers an opportunity for financial relief and progress in trial operations, said Allyson Small, Chief Executive Officer, SCRS. These practices will support solvency at clinical research sites in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. SCRS recognizes Syneos Health for this significant step towards a more sustainable clinical research community.”