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July 2018

Addressing Financial Barriers to Enrollment in Clinical Trials

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine, The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
JAMA Oncol. 2018;4(7):913-914. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.0492

Shortfalls in clinical trial recruitment and retention constitute a major obstacle to scientific advancement.1 One means of increasing patient participation rates is to reduce associated financial burdens. In several states, efforts are under way to achieve this goal for patients in cancer clinical trials through legislation explicitly allowing reimbursement of certain clinical trial–related expenses. Although laudable, these efforts fall far short. Financial barriers to participation exist beyond the confines of oncology, and singling out reimbursement fails to take advantage of other ethically permissible functions of offering payment, including compensating for research-related burden and incentivizing participation.

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