Taking part in a clinical trial should not cost you more money
than not taking part. Some of the tests and treatments that you
receive in the trial are part of standard care. The costs of extra
tests or treatments are covered by the trial organisers. Make sure
this is covered in the document that you sign.
Participants might sometimes need extra visits to their cancer
specialist. Some people may wish to travel to another hospital to
participate in a clinical trial (for example, people living in
rural areas). In most cases, travel and accommodation costs are
paid for by participants. It is possible to ask your cancer
specialist if there are ways to be reimbursed for travel and
accommodation expenses. Social workers can often provide assistance
with options for financial support.
Financial assistance will vary depending on where you live in
Australia so it is important to check what local support schemes
are available for you.
Government travel assistance
There are a number of state government travel assistance schemes
- Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Scheme (IPTAAS) in
- Patient Assisted Travel Schemes (PATS) in other
- Interstate Patient Travel and Assistance Scheme
These schemes subsidise travel and accommodation costs to assist
people to access planned clinical care that is not available
locally. These schemes do not currently cover
travel to take part in a clinical trial.
Other forms of travel assistance
Some private health insurers provide travel and accommodation
cover for their members who must travel a specified minimum
distance to receive health care. Benefits vary across insurers. You
must check with your insurer to see if costs to participate in a
clinical trial are covered.
A number of not-for-profit organisations - including volunteer
organisations - provide free or subsidised transport to medical
appointments. Further, there are various (but limited)
accommodation facilities, which house people undergoing specialist
treatment. Check the Cancer Council website in your state for a
list of accommodation. Your social worker or GP can help you find
out about organisations that may be able to assist you with
financial and practical support during your cancer journey.