Bill Would Mandate Cancer Test Coverage for Clinical Trials
Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio) last week introduced the Access to Cancer Clinical Trials Act (HR 967), which would require all private health insurance plans to cover the "routine patient costs" of those who qualify for participation in cancer clinical trials. The legislation "removes a barrier" to clinical trial participation, Pryce said. She added, "Lack of insurance coverage for the treatment provided in clinical trials and even uncertainty about insurance coverage contribute to the low numbers of patients in Ohio and nationwide who enroll in clinical trials. This is an urgent issue because most clinical trials need a significant number of participants to determine the efficacy of a treatment, and the longer it takes to get people to participate, the longer it takes to get the new, potentially life-saving treatment to the public." Pryce said only 3% of adult cancer patients nationwide enroll in clinical trials, while up to 20% are eligible; the American Cancer Society estimates that in the year 2000, 244,020 Americans were eligible for clinical trials, but only 36,603 participated (Pryce release, 3/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.