Allen Lichter, MD, president of the American Society of Clinical
Oncology (ASCO), stated at a meeting sponsored by the Institute of
Medicine (IOM) that Medicare should pay routine patient costs for
people who participate in qualified clinical trials of cancer
treatments. The issue of reimbursement for clinical trial
participants has been controversial for years, of course. Sens.
Connie Mack (R-FL) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) were scheduled to
reintroduce their clinical trials bill in April. It creates a small
The IOM, which is part of the National Academy of Sciences, will make
a report on clinical trials reimbursement to the Health Care
Financing Administration by September 30. It is ASCOs
view that Medicare beneficiaries who have paid premiums and taxes
should be entitled to expect coverage of their hospital and physician
costs and routine diagnostic tests that would be administered
regardless of whether the patient was enrolled in a trial,
Lichter said at the IOM meeting.