Clinton orders Medicare to cover patients in clinical trials

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 17 June 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1625
  1. Fred Charatan
  1. Florida

    President Clinton has told the US Department of Health and Human Services to authorise payment for services covered by Medicare for patients in clinical trials.

    The directive, which does not require congressional approval, follows last December's Institute of Medicine report, which said: “Medicare should pay for routine care of beneficiaries enrolled in clinical trials in the same way it pays for this care outside of clinical trials.”

    Explaining the new payment policy, a White House statement said: “Too few seniors participate in clinical trials. Current Medicare reimbursement policies often discourage seniors from participating.

    “Coverage of all clinical trials, not just those for cancer, is critically important to ensuring new breakthroughs in diagnostics, treatments and cures.”

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