Addressing financial barriers to patient participation in clinical trials: ASCO policy statement

Karen M. Winkfield, Jonathan K. Phillips, Steven Joffe, Michael T. Halpern, Dana S. Wollins, Beverly Moy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Research conducted through clinical trials is essential for evaluating new treatment modalities, establishing new standards of cancer care, and ultimately improving and prolonging the lives of patients with cancer. However, participation in trials has been low, and this is attributable to various factors including patient financial barriers. Such financial barriers include the rising cost of cancer care; a lack of transparency in coverage policy; and the perception of ethical, compliance, or institutional impediments to patient financial support. ASCO convened a roundtable discussion with a variety of stakeholders to define the scope of the problem, as well as to identify clinical practice and policy solutions applicable at the institutional and system-wide levels. This statement summarizes key discussions from the ASCO Roundtable, as well as findings from the literature, and provides ASCO's recommendations for overcoming financial barriers that may otherwise prevent participation in clinical trials. These recommendations broadly address the following key areas: (1) improving the policy environment for coverage of clinical trials; (2) facilitating transparency among providers, patients, and payers for trial-related out-of-pocket costs; (3) refuting the specter of inducement to enable targeted financial support for patients; and (4) improving the available data on costs of cancer clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3331-3339
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number33
StatePublished - Nov 20 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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