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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February 20, 2019

On February 20 ASCO announced that it is seeking applications for research grants for projects that use data from CancerLinQ Discovery®, an offering of ASCO’s CancerLinQ® initiative, as a source.

February 19, 2019

Urge Congress to support the CLINICAL TREATMENT Act, which would guarantee coverage of the routine care costs of clinical trial participation for Medicaid enrollees with a life-threatening condition.

February 15, 2019

On February 15, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration approved pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®, Merck) for the adjuvant treatment of patients with melanoma with involvement of lymph node(s) following complete resection.

February 15, 2019

President Trump signed into law a funding bill that provides FDA with $3.08 billion in government funding for fiscal year 2019 – a $269 million increase, and the largest boost to FDA in at least five years.

February 15, 2019

On February 11, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) released its long-anticipated proposed rule on information blocking, interoperability, and the Health IT Certification program.

February 14, 2019

Approximately 5 million middle and high school students reported currently using a tobacco product, with over 3.6 million currently using e-cigarettes and about half (2.5 million) currently using a combustible tobacco product, according to the latest findings from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS).

February 13, 2019

On February 12, 2019, ASCO leadership and members of the society’s Government Relations Committee met with representatives from key federal agencies, advisory groups, and other stakeholder organizations to discuss top cancer policy priorities. The meetings focused on access to clinical trials, drug pricing, step therapy, drug shortages, Medicaid waivers and other issues affecting people with cancer.

February 11, 2019

On February 11, JCO CCI Clinical Cancer Informatics (JCO CCI) published its third special collection of articles, this one on the topic of “Decision Making in Oncology.” This collection examines decision making in oncology and the benefits and challenges of various tools and methods. 

February 7, 2019

On February 15 from 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET, ASCO will host a webinar discussing current standards for the safe handling of hazardous drugs. The webinar will look at existing safe handling standards from the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and provide an overview of ASCO’s recently released standards.

February 7, 2019

ASCO’s first draft of its data specification of the Minimal Common Oncology Data Elements (mCODE™) project is available and open for comment. The deadline for comments has been extended by one week and now closes on February 19.

February 6, 2019

On February 6, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration approved caplacizumab-yhdp (CABLIVI®, Ablynx NV) for adult patients with acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP), in combination with plasma exchange and immunosuppressive therapy.

February 5, 2019

ASCO, along with over 50 other organizations, signed a letter from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network to the Department of Health and Human Services urging the agency to reject proposed changes to Medicare Part D that could harm patient access to essential therapies, including cancer care.

February 5, 2019

In a comment letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), ASCO urged the agency to protect patient access to necessary cancer care under Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Part D. The comments were submitted in response to proposed changes to MA and Part D aimed at lowering drug prices.

February 5, 2019

On January 31, ASCO joined more than 60 organizations in requesting the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to reverse its recent decision to limit coverage for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). The organizations expressed concern that the decision will make it harder for patients to access medically necessary and relevant clinical tests, reducing the quality of their cancer treatment and care.

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