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Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that patients can sign up for to test new treatments for health problems. Some trials study people with certain illnesses or conditions. Other trials study healthy people. To be in a trial, you must qualify for the trial. In a clinical trial, you work with a team of doctors and other providers and follow their instructions. This team checks your health from time to time.

Clinical Trials and Cancer

In some cases, health plans must cover the routine costs of clinical trials for cancer treatments. Call your health plan to find out what it covers. If you want to be in a clinical trial for cancer or for any other condition, but the plan will not cover it, you may qualify for an Independent Medical Review/Complaint.

Independent Medical Review/Complaint

Clinical Trials

Benefits of Being in a Clinical Trial

  • You can try a new treatment.
  • If the treatment is not covered by your plan or if you are not insured, you may get medical care you could not afford otherwise.
  • You can help others by helping medical research.

Risks of Being in a Clinical Trial

  • The treatment may have unpleasant, serious, or even life-threatening side effects.
  • The treatment may not work for you.
  • The trial may take a lot of your time, including trips to the study site, treatments, hospital stays, and complex directions for taking medicines.

Questions to Ask About a Clinical Trial

  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • Who will be in the study?
  • What kinds of tests and treatments will I have?
  • Why is the treatment being tested? Has it been tested before?
  • How does the experimental treatment compare with the treatment I am on now?
  • How could this trial affect my daily life?
  • How long will the trial last?
  • Will I be hospitalized?
  • Who will pay for my treatment?
  • Will I get money back for travel or other expenses?
  • Will I get long-term follow-up care?
  • How will I know that the experimental treatment is working?
  • Who will be in charge of my care during the study?
  • Will I be told the results of the study?