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Clinical Trials 101

How To Pay Your Share Of The Costs Of A Clinical Trial Without Insurance

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Participation in clinical trials is not usually cost free. There are generally medical requirements that accompany the trial which are not paid for by the trial.

If you do not have insurance to pay these costs, and paying them yourself would create a hardship or even be impossible, be open with the trial coordinator and ask for help to find a solution so you can participate in the trial. 

If the coordinator doesn't have an answer for you, consider raising the following ideas:

  • Perhaps one of the trial doctors can see you in his or her practice for free, or at a low cost.
  • Perhaps the sponsors have a relationship with a local clinic.
  • Perhaps the sponsor (or the drug manufacturer if the manufacturer is not the sponsor) has or could create a fund to help pay costs.
  • Check disease specific non profit organizations. For instance, with cancer, both American Cancer Society and Cancer Care have programs that may be able to help.
  • If the trial will occur in a hospital, check with the hospital to see if it has a program that would help.
  • Check The Patient Advocate Foundation offsite link which offers an online resource with a financial services directory that lists resources to help with transportation, chidcare costs and other needs.
  • Most faclities that conduct clinical trials have a list of locol reources that help patients who join a clinical trial, including hotels that offer a discounted rate. 

Also see our article about Uninsured for ideas to help pay the costs outside of your relationship with the clinical trial.

It may seem to you as if you are asking the sponsors for a favor: you want to be in the trial, money is needed, you don't have it, and you're asking them to help solve your problem.

Instead, think about the situation from the sponsor's point of view: if you fit the eligibility requirements for the trial, you are a major asset they want. In fact, drug companies spend a lot of money looking for people like you. Without you, there is no trial. In addition, the more of you there are, the more credibility the trial has.

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