What are the costs involved in receiving an investigational drug?

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In general, the drug is provided free of charge. However, there may be other costs associated with the treatment. Before beginning treatment, patients should check with their insurer about coverage of these costs.

What are some of the potential drawbacks to receiving an investigational drug?

It is not known whether an investigational drug is better than standard therapy for treating a disease, and a patient may not receive any benefit. Side effects (both long-term and short-term) from the drug may not be fully understood, especially if the drug is in early phases of testing. Finally, a patient’s health insurance company may not pay expenses associated with receiving the investigational drug.

How can patients find out more information about a specific investigational drug?

Patients can find out more about a specific drug by contacting the drug company that is developing the drug. Information may also be available from NCI’s Cancer Information Service at 1–800–4–CANCER (1–800–422–6237).

Source: National Cancer Institute.