ASCO sent a letter to leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate applauding the bipartisan, bicameral work to advance the 21st Century Cures Act, and urging leaders to move the bill through final passage when Congress returns into session later this year.
The 21st Century Cures Act is designed to accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of promising new treatments to patients. In the weeks ahead, it’s expected that Congress will amend and streamline the legislation in order to secure the votes needed to pass both the House and Senate. ASCO has weighed in heavily throughout the development of the legislation and has continued to advocate for passage of the bill.
In the letter, ASCO asked leaders to make sure three key elements are included in the final legislation:
- Interoperability: Improve the interoperability of electronic health records (EHRs) to ensure that health care professionals can easily and efficiently communicate and exchange data so that every patient with cancer receives the highest quality health care.
- Research Funding: Provide mandatory funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to make up for years of stagnant funding that has eroded spending power at the NIH.
- Expanded Access: Make it easier for patients and providers to obtain access to promising new treatments by requiring drug companies to make available public information about their expanded access plans after phase II and phase III.
Read the full letter to congressional leadership.