ASCO in ActionASCO in Action regularly provides the latest news and analysis related to cancer policy news; see the following online articles. These updates provide snapshots of ASCO’s ongoing advocacy efforts, as well as opportunities for ASCO members and guests to take action on critical issues affecting the cancer community.

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June 16, 2017

A study published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on June 15, found a significant drop in the number of teenagers in Oregon using tobacco products from 2015 to 2016.

June 14, 2017

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced the Next Generation Researcher Initiative, which is designed to increase funding to early-stage and mid-career researchers. 

June 14, 2017

The Quality Care Symposium’s (QCS) second annual Joseph C. Simone Award and Lecture is highlighted in a new Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP) article. The Award and Lecture honors an extraordinary individual who has made multiple significant contributions to the quality and safety of cancer care.

June 13, 2017

The next installment of ASCO’s webinar series on the Quality Payment Program (QPP) will take place Monday, June 19 at 4:00 p.m. ET. The webinar, entitled Quality Payment Program: Scoring for Advancing Care Information and Improvement Activities, will help participants  understand QPP’s Advancing Care Information and Improvement Activities Attestation measures. These measures make up two of the four categories that determine a Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) score, and ultimately participants’ Medicare Part B reimbursement. 

June 13, 2017

“On June 13, the delegates of the American Medical Association (AMA) voted for Barbara McAneny, MD, FASCO, MACP, as the organization’s President-elect, making her the first oncologist elected to serve in this important leadership position. In our national dialogue on access to health care, patients with cancer often highlight the broader challenges facing the entire system. The awareness Dr. McAneny brings, as an oncologist at the helm of the largest physician association, will benefit patients and providers broadly. On behalf of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), I offer my congratulations to my friend and colleague, Dr. McAneny."

June 13, 2017

On June 13, the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) held a hearing on how the drug delivery system affects what patients pay for prescription drugs. The hearing explored an array of pricing issues, including the role of pharmacy benefit managers and insurers, the potential of value-based purchasing, and the pricing practices of drugmakers. 

June 13, 2017

ASCO joined nearly 270 patient and provider advocacy groups in signing a letter (LINK) to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, urging the agency to formally withdraw the Obama Administration’s proposed Medicare Part B Drug Payment Model

June 12, 2017

ASCO congratulates Dr. Norman "Ned" Sharpless on his appointment as director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). ASCO is encouraged that NCI will have at its helm an accomplished researcher with experience leading a wide range of clinical and translational research endeavors focused on bringing new insights into cancer prevention and treatment.

June 9, 2017

On June 6, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved aminolevulinic acid hydrochloride, known as ALA HCl (Gleolan, NX Development Corp.) as an optical imaging agent indicated in patients with gliomas (suspected World Health Organization Grades III or IV on preoperative imaging) as an adjunct for the visualization of malignant tissue during surgery.

June 8, 2017

Caris Life Sciences®, a leading innovator in molecular science, and ASCO have announced that Caris is one of the first laboratories to have a test report optimized for ASCO’s Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry (TAPUR™) Study. The TAPUR Study is evaluating efficacy of treatments based on patients’ tumor genetic profiles. This designation indicates that the company’s proprietary Caris Molecular Intelligence® comprehensive genomic profiling plus (CGP+) tumor profiling platform report is optimized to molecularly identify and report genomic alterations specifically for the TAPUR Study.

June 8, 2017

ASCO and Foundation Medicine have announced entry into an agreement to create efficiencies for research sites participating in ASCO’s TAPUR™ Study in identifying potential participants for the study. ASCO is announcing that reports from Foundation Medicine’s comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) assays, FoundationOne,® FoundationOne® Heme, and FoundationACT® will receive the new “optimized for TAPUR reporting” designation available to entities that demonstrate reporting of nearly 75% of TAPUR-specific genes in a format that meets criteria established for the TAPUR Study. The TAPUR Study is a first-of its-kind clinical trial designed to evaluate molecularly targeted cancer drugs and collect data on clinical outcomes to learn about additional uses of these drugs outside of indications already approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

June 8, 2017

ASCO congratulates Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, on the announcement of his continued service as the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). A renowned researcher and skilled administrator, Dr. Collins appreciates the critical role that federal research plays in advancing our understanding of how to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases, and has worked tirelessly to ensure that the United States remains at the forefront of biomedical innovation.

June 7, 2017

The American Society of Clinical Oncology strongly supports North Carolina House bill 206, which would address inappropriate cost-sharing burdens for oral anti-cancer drugs for the state’s cancer patients.  By passing House bill 206, North Carolina would join forty-three other states and the District of Columbia that have enacted similar oral chemotherapy parity legislation.

June 6, 2017

A new Care Delivery Review in the Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP) by Blase N. Polite, MD, MPP, chair of ASCO's Government Relations Committee and Christine Bestvina, MD evaluates and summarizes current published research that addresses the need for early and continuous Advanced Care Planning (ACP) in oncology care.

June 5, 2017

ASCO and Illumina, Inc. today announced a joint contribution of variant interpretations of 6,000 associations of somatic genetic alterations—variants linked to tumors—to the CIViC (Clinical Interpretation of Variants in Cancer) resource, an openly accessible database hosted by Washington University in St. Louis.