Clinical trials are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of new treatment interventions. The objective of these clinical trials is to test new therapies in patients who have cancer. Patients participate in clinical trials for several reasons, including:
The potential to benefit from a new drug or treatment procedure
Improved management of symptoms resulting from treatment from treatment or cancer
The opportunity to directly contribute to improving the understanding of how to treat a cancer and ultimately, benefit other patients
Patients who participate in clinical trials receive either a promising new treatment or the best available conventional treatment. If a new treatment option is proven to work, patients who are participating in the clinical trial will be among the first to benefit. While there is no guarantee that any treatment will be successful, clinical trials have been proven to offer some of the most effective cancer treatments currently available today.
There are two types of costs associated with a trial:
Research costs and patient care cost -
Research costs: Research costs are costs that are associated with clinical trial participation, such as data collection and management, research physician and nurse time, analysis of results, and tests performed purely for research purposes. Such costs are usually covered by the sponsoring organization, such as a pharmaceutical company. The sponsor and the participant’s health plan need to resolve coverage of these costs for particular trials. Again, be sure to consult with your physician about the financial aspects of any trial you are considering.
Patient care costs: These are costs associated with providing medical goods and services to each patient. Usual care costs include doctor visits, hospital stays, clinical laboratory tests, x-rays, and any other medical costs that occur regardless of whether a patient is participating in a clinical trial or receiving standard treatment. These costs are usually covered by a third-party health plan, such as Medicare or private insurance.
Care that is related to the clinical trial but not part of routine care may or may not be covered by your insurance. When considering clinical trial participation, you should work with your doctor, the research nurse, or your health plan to determine what is and is not covered.