Clinical Trials tend to be an affordable opportunity for patients looking to explore alternative treatment options. Here's all you need to know about the ins and outs of clinical trials.
Abstract: Clinical Trials tend to be an affordable opportunity for patients looking to explore alternative treatment options. Here’s all you need to know about the ins and outs of clinical trials.
Article: The purpose of clinical trials is to determine whether they supersede the present standard of care. Researchers are always looking for new effective treatment options.
A Clinical Trial is a study of new drugs, a combination of drugs, and/or treatments to see how well they work against the current standard of treatment. There are strict eligibility requirements for participation in clinical trials. An independent committee of physicians, statisticians and members of the community must oversee the eligibility requirements and overall trial to ensure the risks are minimal and the trial is worth the potential benefits.
When considering participation in a clinical trial, it’s ok to ask questions or request a second medical opinion. Even though it may seem overwhelming at times, the more you know about your diagnosis and available options for care, the more you’ll be able to self-advocate. When diagnosed with a chronic, debilitating, or life-threatening illness, clinical trials are a great, cost-effective option to consider. This option becomes especially appealing when ongoing treatment is considered, so go ahead and ask!
Clinical Trials come in all shapes and sizes and serve many different purposes. Here are some clinical trials you might undergo during your treatment.
Each clinical trial has four different phases designed to thoroughly test the new treatments being proposed.
Just as it is important to research your diagnosis and available options for care, it is also critical to understand your rights and advocate on behalf of yourself during a clinical trial. You have the right to:
There a multitude of benefits to participating in a clinical trial including:
While clinical trials are a great option for many, there are several risks associated with participating in a clinical trial including:
Please note: Clinical trials can be safe. Most clinical trials are federally regulated to protect the participants.
When considering a clinical trial, be sure to read and understand what may or may not be covered under your plan as it relates to clinical trials.
Some specific areas to keep an eye out for include:
After reading your plan language you should be more aware of what is and what is not covered. Many states have passed laws or developed policies requiring health plans to cover the costs of certain clinical trials. If your insurance company denies coverage, file an appeal to your provider and request they reconsider and provide coverage for the requested treatment. Include important details like why the treatment is a medical necessity for you. Additionally, there may be some funds available through the trial sponsor to assist you and fundraising organizations that might be able to offset the costs and provide additional clinical trial information.
There are many great benefits to participating in a clinical trial. Occasionally patients will run into obstacles but many of these can be overcome with education regarding your options and availability of resources.
Things you can do to minimize obstacles include:
Exploring all of your treatment options relevant to your diagnosis will you keep informed and help you make decisions about your health. Clinical trials can offer life-saving treatment and allow you to experience break-through technology, treatments, and cures for your disease.
Currently there are over 24,000 cancer clinical trials hosted in the United States. For a customized, comprehensive list of all ongoing clinical trials, visit clinicaltrials.gov. Supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, this site allows you to search by illness, location, sponsors and more as it relates to your diagnosis.