Last week, President Obama signed the “Improving Access to Clinical Trials Act” into law. The legislation, which passed the US Senate on August 5 and the US House of Representatives on September 23, will enable patients with rare diseases to participate in clinical trials without losing eligibility for public health care benefits.

Previously, people who received Supplemental Security Income (SSI) were prevented from accepting research compensation because it would make them ineligible to continue receiving government medical benefits.

According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the new law is particularly important for people with cystic fibrosis and other rare diseases, because a limited patient population makes it challenging to find enough people to participate in research studies evaluating the effectiveness of promising new drugs.

Source: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation