New England Journal of Medicine
May 27, 2021 Vol. 384 No. 21
A Hidden Opportunity — Medicaid’s Role in Supporting Equitable Access to Clinical Trials
Samuel U. Takvorian, M.D., M.S.H.P., Carmen E. Guerra, M.D., M.S.C.E., and William L. Schpero, Ph.D.
Hidden deep within the $2.3 trillion omnibus spending and relief package passed by Congress in December 2020 lies a little-known but powerful provision intended to promote equitable access to clinical trials. Beginning in January 2022, coverage of the “routine costs” associated with clinical trial participation will be guaranteed for all Medicaid beneficiaries for the first time in the program’s history. The absence of federal policy in this area until now has most likely suppressed the representation of low-income and minority populations in the clinical research that underlies therapeutic advances, thereby limiting equitable access to potentially state-of-the-art therapies and compromising the generalizability of research findings…