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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April 2, 2019

The results of a recently released survey conducted for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) raise serious concerns about the negative impact that utilization management practices, including prior authorization requirements, are having on patients with cancer and their physicians. The survey results reinforce ASCO’s position that payer-imposed utilization management strategies must provide people with cancer full access to the right treatment, at the right time, based on the scientific evidence on what constitutes high-quality care.

April 2, 2019

ASCO joined the Alliance for Childhood Cancer on Capitol Hill for the 8th Annual Childhood Cancer Action Day, where advocates met directly with Members of Congress and their staff about cancer policy priorities related to pediatric cancer.

During the Action Day, advocates urged Members of Congress to:

April 2, 2019

The number of electronic health record (EHR) systems joining with CancerLinQ to facilitate information sharing continues to grow. CancerLinQ LLC, a wholly owned nonprofit subsidiary of the ASCO, announced today that Varian’s ARIA® Oncology Information System (OIS) is the next Electronic Health Record (EHR) System to be certified by CancerLinQ® after meeting criteria for interoperability and data standardization. This collaboration aims to dismantle barriers to information sharing and streamline access to CancerLinQ for oncology practices using Varian ARIA® OIS. 

April 1, 2019

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).

April 1, 2019

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.

April 1, 2019

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.

March 27, 2019

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.

March 27, 2019

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.”    

March 22, 2019

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.

March 22, 2019

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.

March 22, 2019

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.

March 19, 2019

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.

March 19, 2019

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. 

March 18, 2019

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.

March 15, 2019

Members of Congress recently introduced oral parity legislation to ensure patients have access to the highest-quality cancer treatment.

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