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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December 12, 2018

The latest issue of the Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP) features a new Special Series focusing on Real-World Approaches to Quality Improvement in Oncology. The issue includes research and commentary that share practical examples of approaching quality measurement and improvement that can guide physicians and others in the oncology field.

December 11, 2018

ASCO recently hosted a webinar outlining important changes to Medicare reimbursement starting Jan. 1, 2019. The event, 2019 Medicare Reimbursement – Final Rules Update, provided details on how provisions in the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS), as well as the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) and Quality Payment Program (QPP) final rules will impact cancer care in the year ahead.

December 11, 2018 has submitted a statement for the record from ASCO Chief Executive Officer Clifford Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO, to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health related to its recent hearing, “Implementing the 21st Century Cures Act: An Update from the Office of the National Coordinator.”

December 10, 2018

On Friday, December 7, President Trump signed into law a two-week Continuing Resolution (CR) to prevent a partial government shutdown.

While Congress was able to pass some of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 appropriations bills before the end of the 2018 fiscal year, it has not yet come to agreement on seven remaining appropriations bills, which fund a variety of federal departments and agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The CR will provide flat funding for those agencies until December 21, 2018, when Congress will need to take further action to fund them.

December 6, 2018

ASCO submitted comments to the United States Pharmacopeia Convention (USP) concerning a proposed chapter on pharmaceutical compounding. ASCO is concerned that proposed chapter, General Chapter <797> Pharmaceutical Compounding– Sterile Preparations (USP <797>), as it is currently written, could create unnecessary confusion for providers, interfere with patient access to potentially life-saving drugs, and undermine FDA drug approval requirements.

December 6, 2018

On December 6, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved atezolizumab (TECENTRIQ®, Genentech, Inc.), in combination with bevacizumab, paclitaxel, and carboplatin for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic non-squamous, non-small cell lung cancer (NSq NSCLC) with no EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations.

December 4, 2018

In the latest ASCO in Action Podcast, Dr. Beverly Moy, a medical oncologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital, joined ASCO CEO Dr. Clifford A. Hudis to discuss patient participation in clinical trials and how policymakers, trial sponsors, and other stakeholders can help remove and overcome financial barriers.

November 29, 2018

On Nov. 29, ASCO and Friends of Cancer Research applauded the National Cancer Institute’s recent revision of its clinical trial protocol template to broaden eligibility criteria for cancer clinical trials, which went into effect on Nov. 1

November 28, 2018

On November 28, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved Truxima (rituximab-abbs, Celltrion Inc.) as the first biosimilar to Rituxan (rituximab, Genentech Inc.) for patients with CD20-positive, B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) to be used as a single agent or in combination with chemotherapy.

November 28, 2018

On November 28, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved gilteritinib (XOSPATA®, Astellas Pharma US Inc.) for treatment of adult patients who have relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with a FLT3 mutation as detected by an FDA-approved test.

November 27, 2018

Over the past two years, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has worked to implement the Cancer Moonshot Initiative, including recommendations of the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel (BRP) that highlighted 10 areas of cancer research ripe for innovation. 

November 27, 2018

While ASCO supports efforts to control drug prices, we are keenly aware that optimal cancer care requires patient access to the most medically appropriate drug, at the most opportune time, based on the highest quality evidence.

November 27, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a proposed rule pertaining to Medicare Part C and Part D—two areas of the Medicare program where reforms are being considered as part of the Administration’s “blueprint to lower drug prices and reduce out-of-pocket costs.”

November 26, 2018

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced new changes to expand and update the Expanded Access (EA) program, which allows very ill patients access to experimental treatments outside of clinical trials. The most recent updates include clarifications on safety data, a new navigation team, a new coordinating committee, and updated web resources.

November 26, 2018

Members of Congress recently introduced bipartisan legislation, H.R. 6836, the CLINICAL TREATMENT Act, which would require Medicaid to cover the routine costs of care for patients with life threatening conditions who are enrolled in clinical trials. ASCO worked closely with Members of Congress to shape the legislation to address this gap in coverage for clinical trials.