Why Do Clinical Trials Cost So Much?
In the United States, hospitalization and medical care are expensive. To admit a person to a hospital, do all the tests, carry out surgery to inject cells into spinal cord, and keep the patient for two days costs about $50,000. Three months of intense locomotor training, even with volunteers, will cost $50,000 or more. The first SCINetUSA trial will assess 240 patients (four groups of 60 patients, treated with rehabilitation alone, rehabilitation plus lithium, rehabilitation plus umbilical cord blood mononuclear cell transplants, and then rehabilitation plus the transplants and lithium). The cells cost $22,000 but are being donated by Stemcyte, Inc.