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Law Signed to Improve Access to Clinical Trials

November 1, 2010

On October 5, 2010, the Improving Access to Clinical Trials Act (P.L. 111-255) was signed into law.  This legislation helps reduce barriers for certain people wanting to participate in clinical trials.  Often, clinical trial sponsors compensate participants financially for their time.  The money is regarded as personal income for tax purposes. This payment, however, may threaten the eligibility of some people to be enrolled in Medicaid or to collect Supplemental Security Income.  With a small number of potential trial participants, and the possible loss of Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid benefits for many who wish to participate, clinical trial research for rare diseases and conditions becomes exceptionally difficult and may hinder research on new treatments and potential cures.  The new law will allow compensation up to $2,000 to be excluded from taxable income, thereby making it easier for people to participate in clinical trials.