Drug Pricing, Medicaid Waivers, Clinical Trials, Step Therapy in Focus at ASCO Meetings with Federal Agencies

February 13, 2019

On February 12, 2019, ASCO leadership and members of the society’s Government Relations Committee met with representatives from key federal agencies, advisory groups, and other stakeholder organizations to discuss top cancer policy priorities. The meetings focused on access to clinical trials, drug pricing, step therapy, drug shortages, Medicaid waivers and other issues affecting people with cancer.

Among the specific initiatives discussed in the meetings, ASCO advocates highlighted the society’s support for the CLINICAL TREATMENT Act, which would require Medicaid to cover the routine costs of care for patients with life threatening conditions who are enrolled in clinical trials. They also weighed in on aspects of the Trump Administration’s plan to lower drug costs and reiterated ASCO’s strong opposition to step therapy and other potentially restrictive utilization management strategies.

In a dozen meetings, ASCO members met with leaders from:

  • America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)
  • Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • Medicaid
  • Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC)
  • Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC)
  • National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)
  • National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD)
  • National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA)
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (HHS ASPR)
  • United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Stay tuned to ASCO in Action for the latest advocacy and legislative updates on these issues.