During the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD) annual meeting, delegates approved several ASCO-led resolutions and incorporated them into the AMA’s policy agenda.
The five ASCO-led resolutions approved by the AMA HOD include:
- Pharmacy Benefit Managers: The resolution commits AMA to gather more data on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), their policies, and the patient-physician relationship.
- 340B Drug Discount Program: The resolution commits AMA to support reforms to the 340B program, including changes to make the program more transparent and make more practices eligible for participation.
- Inter-pharmacy Transfer of Opioid Prescriptions: The resolution commits AMA to backing policies that would make it easier to transfer electronic opioid prescriptions to ensure patients with a bona fide need for opioids are able to access medications in a timely manner.
- Survivorship Care Plans: The AMA HOD reaffirmed existing AMA policy on the need to improve billing for survivorship plans.
- Alcohol Use and Cancer: The AMA HOD reaffirmed existing AMA policy that alcohol is a modifiable risk for cancer and physicians should provide support and counsel to their patients.
The HOD also approved other resolutions relevant to cancer care, including a resolution opposing Medicaid waivers that allow states to discontinue coverage for beneficiaries who do not complete eligibility requirements in a timely fashion. These ‘lock out’ provisions create delays and serve as a barrier to timely and appropriate access to care for patients with cancer. The HOD also approved other resolutions ASCO supported, including a resolution to oppose purposeful information blocking and a resolution supporting a rigorous pathway for approval of interchangeability of biosimilars and calling on the FDA to finalize guidance in the area.
During the meeting, Barbara McAneny, MD, FASCO, MACP, was sworn in as the President of the AMA, making her the first oncologist to hold the position. In her inaugural address, she emphasized the important role physicians play, saying, “The role of physician, of healer, comes with great responsibility. We pledge ourselves to a code of ethics, promising to uphold the standards that define our work, and committing ourselves to mastering our craft through lifelong learning…As healers, we will always put the needs of our patients first. We are medicine’s moral compass, and our strength lies in our collective expertise, our insights and our values.” As an enthusiastic supporter of Dr. McAneny’s campaign, ASCO offers its congratulations to Dr. McAneny for a successful campaign, and looks forward to continued work with her in this well-deserved new role.
Stay connected to ASCO’s advocacy activities at AMA HOD meetings and in federal and state governments through ASCO in Action.