The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is holding its annual Advocacy Summit Week of Action from April 4-8, during which ASCO members are encouraged to connect with their Members of Congress about policies and legislation that impact cancer care and research.
During the Week of Action, participants can visit ASCO’s easy-to-use ACT Network to quickly and efficiently contact their lawmakers to urge them to take action on the following issues:
- Protect patients from care delays – Prior authorization and step therapy can cause delays in access to the right cancer treatment at the right time, and lead to other issues including a reduction in health care quality, a greater burden for both patients and providers, and increased health care costs. Passing legislation to streamline prior authorization and step therapy protocols is an essential step towards patients having timely access to life-saving treatments.
- Improve telehealth availability – Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has allowed patients greater access to high-quality cancer care. Congress should ensure that patients remain able to access telehealth services after the COVID-19 public health emergency is lifted, regardless of their location, by permanently removing geographic and originating site restrictions.
- Increase access to clinical trials – Clinical trials are key to advancing new standards of care that can improve survival and quality of life for people with cancer, but clinical trials often do not accurately represent the population of people with cancer. Congress should ensure all Americans have access to clinical trials by allowing trial sponsors to cover ancillary costs, such as travel, lodging, and childcare, incurred by participants and allowing trials to provide technologies for patients to participate in trials remotely as appropriate.
- Support cancer research – ASCO appreciates the funding increase seen in fiscal year (FY) 2022 for biomedical research and wants to see this upward trend continue in FY 2023 with a robust increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $7.76 billion for the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Increased funding enables the NIH and NCI to keep pace with inflation and provides meaningful growth for the agencies to ultimately fund more research grants.
The Week of Action will be held in conjunction with the annual ASCO Advocacy Summit, where oncology care providers from across the United States will meet with Members of Congress and their staff by phone or video to advocate for policies that will improve access to high-quality, equitable care for people with cancer and ensure robust funding for cancer research.
The Summit will be taking place virtually and our advocates remain dedicated to bringing the voices of the cancer care community to leadership on Capitol Hill.
During the Advocacy Summit, ASCO will present the “Congressional Leadership Award,” to acknowledge Members of Congress who champion policies to improve research and the delivery care for patients with cancer. The Association will also present the “Advocate of the Year” award to an ASCO member who has demonstrated exceptional advocacy efforts on behalf of individuals with cancer and their cancer care teams.
Use the hashtag #ASCOAdvocacySummit on social media to lend your voice to the conversation and to see photos and updates from the event.
Bookmark ASCO in Action to stay up-to-date on all of ASCO’s advocacy efforts.