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 26, 2017

ASCO’s delegates participated in the American Medical Association’s (AMA) annual House of Delegates (HOD) meeting to advocate on behalf of oncologists and patients with cancer on issues including utilization management, MACRA implementation, access to health insurance, and opioids.

June 23, 2017

On June 23, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved betrixaban (BEVYXXA, Portola) for the prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in adult patients hospitalized for an acute medical illness who are at risk for thromboembolic complications due to moderate or severe restricted mobility and other risk factors for VTE

June 22, 2017

On June 22, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted regular approval to the combination of rituximab and hyaluronidase human (RITUXAN HYCELA, Genentech Inc.) for adult patients with follicular lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.  The approval provides patients a subcutaneous route of rituximab administration that shortens the administration time to 5 to 7 minutes as compared to intravenous infusion that can take several hours. This new product also provides for flat dosing. 

June 22, 2017

On June 22, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted regular approvals to dabrafenib and trametinib (TAFINLAR® and MEKINIST®, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Inc.) administered in combination for patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with BRAF V600E mutation as detected by an FDA-approved test. These are the first FDA approvals specifically for treatment of patients with BRAF V600E mutation-positive metastatic NSCLC.

June 22, 2017

ASCO opposes the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, the Senate healthcare bill released today, and urges lawmakers to reject the measure and work on an alternative that provides key protections for patients with cancer. We are disappointed that the legislation fails to meet our guiding principles for healthcare reform by halting Medicaid expansion, reinstating annual and lifetime coverage caps, and cutting coverage for essential health benefits including cancer screening.

June 21, 2017

ASCO joined more than 35 other organizations, including professional societies, patient advocacy groups, and research institutions, to encourage the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop a guidance on plain language summaries for clinical trials results.

June 21, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its proposed rule outlining changes to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) for 2018. The proposal became available on June 20 and is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on June 30.

June 19, 2017

On June 1 and June 2, CancerLinQ LLC Chief of Strategic Alliances Jennifer L. Wong spoke at the “Big Data in Oncology” session at an ASCO Annual Meeting 2017 seminar titled “The Economics of Cancer Care.”

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

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