Managed-Care Organizations In Clinical Trials

RAY OF HOPE: Cancer-prevention specialist Jon Kerner says MCOs support Phase III trials in some cases.
With the advent of managed-care organizations (MCOs) and their focus on cost competitiveness, academic scientists are concerned that clinical trials will suffer from decreased patient participation. MCOs, they say, have been refusing to pay for ancillary tests and procedures performed in the course of a trial that they would otherwise pay. Researchers, MCOs, and government agencies all believe that their traditional roles in clinical research must change along with the market. Meanwhile, state legislators across the United States are drafting bills that force the issue, with the aim of ensuring that patients have access to trials.

MCOs claim that clinical-trial expenses are not part of their responsibility to provide cost-effective care. But some people affiliated with MCOs point out that under the right circumstances, their organizations will participate in...

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