Access to investigational drugs is a concern to patients and regulatory agencies. In order to determine potential trial participants’ views on access to investigational drugs, we surveyed one hundred people who had been referred to a phase I clinical trial. Most respondents indicated that patients had a right to investigational drugs, that the drugs should be offered only in the context of research, that getting access to these drugs is too hard, and that knowing the right people and being persistent increased the likelihood of gaining access. Respondents did not think that investigational drugs should be given to anyone who wanted them, or that physicians were aware of the latest investigational agents. They most frequently recommended two allocation criteria: offering investigational drugs to those who would benefit most or were most needy; and allocating them to maximize scientific advancement. Respondents who understood the purpose of the trial were more likely to choose the second criterion
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