The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is holding its 2021 ASCO Advocacy Summit Week of Action from April 12-16. During the event, ASCO members across the United States are encouraged to contact their Members of Congress to advocate for policies that improve access to high-quality, equitable care for people with cancer and ensure robust funding for cancer research.
During the Week of Action, ASCO members 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:
- Improve telehealth availability – During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has helped reduce care delays and disruptions. ASCO is urging Members of Congress to cosponsor the Telehealth Modernization Act (H.R. 1332/S. 368), which would make permanent some of the flexibilities established during the pandemic to ensure that patients are able to continue to access telehealth services.
- Protect patients from harmful step therapy practices – Step therapy is generally not appropriate in cancer care because it can severely delay access to the best treatment available, which may cause disease progression and preventable complications. ASCO is asking Members of Congress to support the Safe Step Act (H.R. 2163/ S. 464) to protect patients with cancer from harmful step therapy protocols.
- Support cancer research – ASCO is calling on Congress to increase its investment in cancer research by providing $46.11 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $7.61 billion for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. These funding levels would keep pace with biomedical inflation, plus provide meaningful growth for the agencies, allowing NCI to fund more research grants. ASCO is also asking Members of Congress to support the RISE ACT (H.R. 869/S. 289) to provide emergency funding to the NIH to mitigate disruptions caused by COVID-19.
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.
While the event is virtual due to the ongoing public health emergency (PHE), the goals remain the same: advance priority legislation, amplify the voice of the cancer care community on Capitol Hill, and encourage all ASCO members to get involved in advocacy initiatives.
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 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.