In 2008, Barack Obama promised to increase patients’ access to clinical trials for new drugs by requiring coverage of patient clinical trial costs in the new public and private plans offered through the National Health Insurance Exchange. PolitiFact spoke with several patient advocates, including Shelley Fuld Nasso, a health policy consultant for NCCS, to determine if this promise has been kept.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised to boost patients’ access to clinical trials for new drugs.

Clinical trials are studies in which patients are assigned to receive one or more interventions, such as a drug or other therapy, or no intervention at all, so that researchers can evaluate whether the drug or therapy is safe and effective.

The key part of the promise is Obama’s pledge to require “coverage of patient clinical trial costs in the new public and private plans offered through the National Health Insurance Exchange.”

This part of the promise was largely kept — although it merits an asterisk.

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