According to research presented earlier this week at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, an annual income of less than $50,000 may be a significant barrier to participation in clinical trials. As might be expected, lower income was correlated with concerns about the costs (both direct and indirect) associated with research participation. Most patients with health insurance cannot legally be reimbursed for out-of-pocket costs such as co-pays. Patients on a treatment protocol may or may not receive reimbursement or stipends sufficient to cover other costs such as travel to and from the research center, lost time from work, etc.
The findings, which have not yet been published, were based on a survey of over 5000 adult patients with cancer.