Today, ASCO is kicking off its Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 advocacy campaign in support of increased funding for federal cancer research. The launch of this year’s advocacy effort comes as Congress is beginning its work to craft FY 2020 appropriations bills. As part of the campaign, ASCO is urging Congress to provide $41.6 billion to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – a $2.5 billion increase from FY 2019 – and $6.5 billion to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
ASCO 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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The Reagan-Udall Foundation for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has added a new guide for companies regarding use of the Expanded Access Navigator. This guide is intended to provide small and emerging biopharmaceutical companies with assistance in understanding the procedures for expanded access, developing an expanded access policy for their company, and responding to requests for single-patient expanded access.
Three completed cohorts reporting findings in non-small cell lung cancer, breast, and metastatic colorectal cancer from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc.’s (ASCO®) Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry (TAPUR™) Study were presented in poster sessions during the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2019. In addition, all seven pharmaceutical companies currently participating in the TAPUR Study have recently renewed their commitment to support it and provide study drugs at no cost for an additional one to three years.
ASCO joined hundreds of other patient groups, scientific societies, and research and health care institutions in urging members of Congress to increase federal funding for cancer research and prevention in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 funding bill.
ASCO has highlighted the concerns surrounding the persistent lack of interoperability of electronic medical records (EMRs) and the challenges it poses to cancer care to the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee. The Society recently submitted a letter from President Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO to Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (WA), in response to the March 26, 2019 hearing focused on “Implementing the 21st Century Cures Act: Making Electronic Health Information Available to Patients and Providers.”
The Workshop on Development of Tissue-Agnostic, Biomarker-Based Indications, cohosted by ASCO, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Friends of Cancer Research, is now open for registration. The April 26 full-day event will take place at the FDA White Oak Campus in Silver Spring, Maryland.
The Illinois state legislature has passed a bill raising the age to buy tobacco and vaping products to 21 years of age. ASCO and the Illinois Medical Oncology Society worked together to send letters of support to the House and Senate committees.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting health care professionals, oncology clinical investigators and patients about the risks associated with the investigational use of Venclexta (venetoclax) for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma based on data from a clinical trial. Venclexta is not approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma.
On March 18, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration approved atezolizumab (TECENTRIQ®, Genentech Inc.) in combination with carboplatin and etoposide, for the first-line treatment of adult patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC). Approval was based on IMpower133 (NCT02763579), a randomized (1:1), multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 403 patients with ES-SCLC who received no prior chemotherapy for extensive stage disease and had ECOG performance status 0 or 1.
ASCO recently submitted comments in response to a request for information (RFI) on reducing health care costs from the Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee.
Two of the world’s leading cancer organizations have released national strategies for meeting the needs of the growing population of cancer survivors in the United States while addressing provider shortages and rising costs. ASCO and the American Cancer Society convened a summit in January of 2018 focused on developing and implementing care that addresses these issues by treating patients in personalized follow-up care pathways depending on the type and level of resources needed for their long-term care. The strategies from that summit were published on March 8, in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
Members of Congress recently introduced oral parity legislation to ensure patients have access to the highest-quality cancer treatment.
On April 10, ASCO will convene some of the nation’s top physicians, advocates and rural health experts for a discussion on the challenges facing Americans living with cancer in rural areas and promising opportunities to improve outcomes.
The 116th Congress is in full swing, and ASCO is advocating on a number of cancer-related policy priorities, including federal funding for cancer research, patient access to clinical trials, oral parity legislation, and potential barriers to care such as the high cost of cancer drug treatment, step therapy, and prior authorization policies. ASCO members can support these advocacy efforts by engaging local lawmakers to ensure they are aware of patient access challenges, as well as legislation that can improve the delivery of the highest quality cancer care.
On February 11-12, the National Cancer Policy Forum hosted a workshop at the National Academy of Medicine in Washington, DC, entitled “Developing and Sustaining an Effective and Resilient Oncology Careforce.” Over the course of the two-day workshop, ASCO volunteer and staff leadership and several other ASCO members gave presentations and participated in panel discussions. ASCO President-Elect Howard “Skip” Burris, MD, FASCO, discussed his institution’s experiences leveraging organizational culture and leadership to promote change in the oncology careforce.