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I have a very good friend with cancer who has been accepted into a clinical trial which has had some excellent results.

But, unless something changes, she won't get a chance to find out if the medication works.  And the insurance company will be responsible for her death and for keeping her out of a trial which could establish a new medical protocol that will save many lives.

Here's the situation: The health insurance company will cover the chemo.  However, they won't cover the scans or pledge to cover costs associated with any side effects she might develop.

The scans are critical. They will establish a baseline before the chemo starts. Without them, the clinical trial cannot be done, as the research team needs to be able to document the impact of the trial.

And so is the coverage for any side effects, which could be quite damaging, possibly leading to hospitalizations.

Without coverage for these costs, my friend would have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket. She doesn't have that money. If she incurs the cost and lives, she will be bankrupt. If she dies, there goes the modest inheritance, the life insurance, that would go to her son.

She is having to decide whether to get the treatment for reasons that have nothing to do with medicine, but rather with money.

She is appealing but who doesn't know if she can get a different decision. In the meantime, the cancer is there and is probably growing.

I am so angry.

If you have any suggestions, please share them with me.

Originally posted to maineiac on Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 04:04 PM PST.

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