ASCO in Action

ASCO in Action provides the latest news and analysis related to critical policy issues affecting the cancer community, updates on the Association for Clinical Oncology’s ongoing advocacy efforts, and opportunities for members and others in the cancer care community to take action.

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Tune in to the ASCO in Action podcast series for analysis and commentary on cancer policy and practice issues. The podcast is available through iTunes or Google Play.

January 28, 2020

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released a position statement, “Block Grants in Medicaid & Their Impact on Cancer Care,” summarizing the Society’s concerns about the potential negative impact that recent proposals to establish annual limits on federal funding for Medicaid—or block grants—could have on patients with cancer. The statement urges state and federal policymakers not to enact, apply for, or advance any proposals to establish block grants for Medicaid programs. 

January 24, 2020

On January 23, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to tazemetostat (TAZVERIK™, Epizyme, Inc.) for adults and pediatric patients aged 16 years and older with metastatic or locally advanced epithelioid sarcoma not eligible for complete resection.

January 23, 2020

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released a statement applauding the Surgeon General for releasing its first report on smoking cessation in 30 years. The report provides the latest evidence-based information on the public health consequences of tobacco use and effective ways to help people quit smoking. 

January 21, 2020

The Georgia Society of Clinical Oncology (GASCO) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) sent a letter to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp with concerns about a proposal to partially expand Medicaid in the state. Known as an 1115 waiver, the proposal would extend Medicaid coverage to merely 89,000 of the 1.5 million uninsured Georgians, while imposing work requirements and other restrictions on the program.

January 21, 2020

The Tennessee Oncology Practice Society (TOPS) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma, outlining concerns about Tennessee’s proposal to transition its current Medicaid program to a block grant approach.

January 21, 2020

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), submitted its Patient-Centered Oncology Payment (PCOP) model for consideration by the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC). 

January 21, 2020

As part of the Administration’s push to lower prescription drug prices, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a proposed rule and draft guidance on drug importation into the Unites States (U.S.). The proposed rule would authorize states, wholesalers, or pharmacists to submit proposals to import prescription drugs from Canada into the U.S. 

January 21, 2020

The American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) latest policy brief on price transparency provides an overview of the issues complicating health care price transparency, the society’s concerns about how the lack of price transparency in the health care system is impacting people with cancer, and how drug manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers, and other stakeholders can be more transparent in a way that is meaningful for patients and providers.

January 9, 2020

On January 9, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration approved avapritinib (AYVAKITTM, Blueprint Medicines Corporation) for adults with unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) harboring a platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA) exon 18 mutation, including D842V mutations.

January 8, 2020

On January 8, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration approved pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®, Merck & Co. Inc.) for the treatment of patients with Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG)-unresponsive, high-risk, non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) with carcinoma in situ (CIS) with or without papillary tumors who are ineligible for or have elected not to undergo cystectomy.  

January 7, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced important updates for 2019 and 2020 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) participants, including the 2019 data submission period for MIPS eligible clinicians and how participants can check their 2020 MIPS eligibility.

January 7, 2020

ASCO recently submitted comments to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Rural and Underserved Communities Health Task Force in response to a request for information (RFI) on priority topics that affect the health status and outcomes for rural and underserved communities.

January 7, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a ban on flavored e-cigarette pods, except for those that are menthol and tobacco flavored. Despite pressure for a comprehensive ban from the anti-smoking community, the FDA rule, as written, will affect a relatively small portion of the vaping industry. It will only apply to cartridge-based products, leaving larger, tank-style vapes exempt from the ban. Single use and disposable vapes, which are becoming increasingly popular among children, are also exempt.

January 6, 2020

President Trump recently signed into law a bill that funds the federal government for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 and raises the purchasing age of tobacco products to 21.

January 3, 2020

On December 27, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration approved olaparib (LYNPARZA®, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP) for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline BRCA-mutated (gBRCAm) metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma, as detected by an FDA-approved test, whose disease has not progressed on at least 16 weeks of a first-line platinum-based chemotherapy regimen.

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