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Clinical Trial Costs

There are costs associated with participating in clinical trials at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center. In many cases, the cost of the drug that is being evaluated is supplied at no cost to the patient. However, there are other costs associated with clinical trials that may need to be covered by the patient or their health insurance.
 
Policies vary widely, but in most cases your best bet is to talk with your physician first before initiating a discussion with your health plan.

Once a UWCCC physician has determined that you are a candidate to participate in a clinical study, a clinical trials coordinator can provide details about costs involved with that clinical trial and assist with issues related to insurance coverage.

For information about costs associated with clinical trials, go to Clinical Trials and Insurance Coverage from the National Cancer Institute.

Medicare coverage of clinical trials

Any cancer care normally covered by Medicare is also covered when it is part of a clinical trial. Medicare does not cover investigational drugs, items, or services being tested in a trial. These costs are generally covered by the company or agency sponsoring the trial.
 
For information about medicare coverage, go to Information for Beneficiaries on Medicare Coverage of Cancer Clinical Trials.
 
VA coverage of clinical trials
 
The VA will pay medical costs of veterans who participate in clinical trials.  The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) signed an Interagency Agreement in January 1997 that is intended to increase the access of eligible veterans to all NCI-sponsored clinical trials. According to the agreement, VA will provide coverage for eligible veterans to participate in a broad range of clinical trials across the country.
 
The partnership paves the way for more NCI clinical trials to be carried out in VA facilities. In addition, VA will pay the medical care costs of veterans who enroll in NCI trials in non-VA facilities in selected cases.
 
For more information about VA coverage of clinical trials, go to NCI/VA Agreement on Clinical Trials: Questions and Answers.