Eligibility, Safety, and Cost of Clinical Trials

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Memorial Sloan Kettering experts discuss what you should know about clinical trials, including eligibility requirements, the way billing works, and how patient safety always comes first.

Dr. Paul Sabbatini, Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Clinical Research, talks about the criteria for participating in a clinical trial. These criteria are in place to ensure patient safety. The timing and scheduling of trials are generally very strict, so the patient’s doctor and nurse should describe the commitment very carefully to the patient.

Medical oncologist David Hyman discusses safety oversight in clinical trials. He says safety is paramount and there are multiple levels of safety checks. Trials may be closed early if there are unexpected or concerning side effects or if the experimental treatment is doing only slightly better than standard of care. If the trial agent is deemed superior to the standard of care, the trial is closed and the new drug is offered to all patients receiving standard of care.

Clinical nurse specialist Amy Copeland talks about costs, reimbursement, and finding a clinical trial. Once patients have given consent, they are shown what portion of the cost will be billed to their insurance company and what portion is passed on to the sponsor of the trial.