BETHESDA, Md--The National Cancer Institute and the Department of Defense (DOD) have signed an in-teragency agreement that gives the 8.3 million beneficiaries of TRICARE/CHAMPUS, the DOD's health program, access to NCI-sponsored clinical treatment trials. About 12,000 of the DOD beneficiaries are diagnosed with cancer each year.
BETHESDA, Md--The National Cancer Institute and the Departmentof Defense (DOD) have signed an in-teragency agreement that givesthe 8.3 million beneficiaries of TRICARE/CHAMPUS, the DOD's healthprogram, access to NCI-sponsored clinical treatment trials. About12,000 of the DOD beneficiaries are diagnosed with cancer eachyear.
DOD participation will be limited to phase II and phase III trials.All medical care required as a result of participation in approvedtrials will be provided by the DOD's medical treatment facilitiesor by civilian providers who will be reimbursed through TRICARE/CHAMPUS.
The DOD will not reimburse for costs associated with nontreatmentresearch activities, such as data collection, salaries of researchnurses, and the cost of investigational agents, and patients willnot be required to pay for such costs.
At the official document signing, Philip R. Lee, MD, assistantsecretary of health, said that the interagency agreement couldserve as a model not only for the private sector but for the entirehealth-care financing industry.
NCI director Richard Klausner praised DOD for its "foresight,sense of responsibility, and clear concern for the best care ofits community. The willingness of DOD to join us in this partnershipis an important statement of it commitment to progress againstcancer."
TRICARE/CHAMPUS providers seeking program information or authorizationfor treatment in an NCI-sponsored trial should call the TRICARE/CHAMPUScontractor, Palmetto Government Benefits Administrators (GBA),at 1-800-779-3060.