Insurance Coverage for Cancer Clinical Trials


Cancer clinical trials are an important option for many cancer patients and they are the only strategy we have to get new treatments to the public. And in the new arena of personalized medicine we have witnessed targeted treatments like Gleevec and Herceptin make marked improvements in cancer survivorship. Yet, low patient enrollment in clinical trials continues to be cited as one of the factors that lengthens the time of the trial and dramatically increases the overall cost.

The LAF believes that cancer patients should have all the options open to them when determining what treatment strategy is best. However, despite the fact that the sponsors of most trials will cover the cost of the new drug, many insurance companies will deny coverage of routine medical costs for the care of the patient on the trial. Routine patient care costs are the usual costs of care, such as doctor visits, hospital stays, clinical laboratory tests, x-rays, etc., that you would receive whether or not you were participating in a clinical trial. This denial effectively denies the clinical trial to many patients.

There is national legislation, like the Access to Cancer Clinical Trials Act, attempting to address this problem, but many states have decided not to wait for the federal government to enact this into law and have passed their own laws.

This month the National Cancer Institute launched an interactive map to help inform Americans on which states currently have laws in place and what those laws actually enforce. The website can be found at


  1. Rob Sartin says:

    Do you have information on efforts to support the federal legislation or state legislation in states without laws? The Leukemia Lymphoma Society of Central Texas seems to think this session of the Texas legislature might put such a bill through with enough external prodding.

    1. The Patient Advocate Foundation’s advocacy branch is working on something from what I remember. I’ll ask our healthcare policy team as well. I” email you.

  2. dolly says:

    First of all congratulation for such a great site. I learned a lot reading article here today. I will make sure i visit this site once a day so i can learn more.

  3. Jerry Worden says:

    I am a breast cancer survivor with the Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation and have been working with Texas Senator Zafferini on SB 39 for routine medical coverage while in a clinical trial. We got it out of the senate committee last session but did not have enough time for the house. We have started over this session and need all the support we can get! I know Livestrong has come on as a supporter of this bill. The House side is HB 390.

  4. Sylvia says:

    Please watch this video:

    it is MD Anderson Hodgkin?s Lymphoma Clinical Trials

    Dr. Younes and all his colleagues are doing an amazing job to cure and to fight the cancer.

    Please share the video with all your friends ?it might help someone that does not know about this New amazing cure.

  5. After reading the article, I just feel that I really need more info. Can you suggest some resources ?

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