In order for new treatments, medications and therapies to be developed for mesothelioma, clinical trials need to be conducted. Clinical trials are scientific studies conducted on humans. Who pays for clinical trials? Where does the money come from? How much do they cost?
The funding for a clinical trial can come from different sources, including government agencies, institutions, or foundations. The National Institutes of Health is the primary source of government funding for trials. The government funding comes from taxes and is included in the Congressional budget. Funding can also come from companies such as pharmaceuticals and medical device companies. Private companies also support research into therapies in which they have a financial interest. With government funding having been reduced in the past 10 years, private industry increasingly supports clinical trials.
The costs associated with research are staggering. There are many estimates about how much it costs to develop a new drug. Drug and device testing begins with extensive research and experiments. There are many phases of the development and testing procedure, and often it is a combination of many financial sources over a period of years that brings the treatment or drug to the patient.
For mesothelioma, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation raises money and allocates it exclusively to support research into clinical trials for mesothelioma. Their grants are reviewed by a Scientific Advisory Committee. Often it is this money – seed money at the beginning of a researcher’s journey – that can jump start the research propelling it forward to the next phase of research and round of funding. The Meso Foundation is highly rated and uses the donations it receives for research, with minimum amounts going to overhead.
With any charitable giving, it is important to check out the charity to make sure that their goals are what you support. The three places that are suggested are Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, and BBB Wise Giving Alliance.
In order for information about a clinical trial to get published in a major scientific journal, it must be registered in the ClinicalTrials.gov database – no matter where the funding comes from.