On Thursday, March 11, President Biden signed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package into law. The legislation, known as the American Rescue Plan, allocates money for vaccines, schools, small businesses and anti-poverty programs such as an expanded child tax credit that would mean new monthly payments to many parents.
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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The latest issue of JCO Oncology Practice features a new Special Series of articles examining the disparities and barriers faced in cancer care. The articles detail challenges experienced by people of different cultures, backgrounds, ages, and socioeconomic factors, and provides a framework for addressing disparities in underserved communities.
On March 10, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved tivozanib (Fotivda, AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), a kinase inhibitor, for adult patients with relapsed or refractory advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) following two or more prior systemic therapies.
On March 5, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta, Kite Pharma, Inc.) for adult patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) after two or more lines of systemic therapy.
The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) endorsed the “PREVENT HPV Cancers Act” (H.R. 1550), which was recently introduced by Representative Kathy Castor (FL-14). In a recent letter to the lawmaker, ASCO thanked Rep. Castor for introducing this important measure to increase research on, awareness of, and access to the vaccine which prevents the human papillomavirus (HPV) types that cause most types of cervical cancers as well as some other cancers.
On March 3, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration granted regular approval to lorlatinib (Lorbrena, Pfizer Inc.) for patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors are anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive, detected by an FDA-approved test.
The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO), as part of the Cancer Leadership Council (CLC), sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) offering the group’s perspective on progress to date in the effort to vaccinate people with cancer and other serious health concerns against COVID-19.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it will hold physicians harmless from Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) penalties due to the significant disruptions the COVID-19 public health emergency placed on physician practices’ performance in 2020.
Bipartisan legislation that would require group health insurance plans to implement critical patient protections from step therapy protocols was recently introduced in the United States Senate. The Association for Clinical Oncology (the Association) supports the measure—S. 464, the Safe Step Act—and its aim to ensure patients have timely access to care. The Association is urging Senators to cosponsor the legislation.
President Biden signed an Executive Order (EO) calling for a 100-day review of the United States’ (U.S.) pharmaceutical supply chains in an effort to create more resilient and secure access to essential pharmaceuticals while reducing over reliance on foreign competitors. This EO is driven largely by the personal protective equipment and ventilator shortages healthcare workers experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other critical supply shortages in non-healthcare sectors.
A new online community will help increase communication and collaboration between members of state and regional oncology societies.
On February 26, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to melphalan flufenamide (Pepaxto, Oncopeptides AB) in combination with dexamethasone for adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have received at least four prior lines of therapy and whose disease is refractory to at least one proteasome inhibitor, one immunomodulatory agent, and one CD-38 directed monoclonal antibody.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently released the ASCO Oncology Clinician Well-Being Task Force Roadmap. The document outlines a five-year plan to improve the quality of cancer care by enhancing the wellbeing of oncology clinicians and sustainability of oncology practices.
The Association of Clinical Oncology congratulates the eleven practices that prioritized the quality of care they provide by achieving the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification in the second half of 2020.
On February 22, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved cemiplimab-rwlc (Libtayo, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) for the first-line treatment of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (locally advanced who are not candidates for surgical resection or definitive chemoradiation or metastatic) whose tumors have high PD-L1 expression (Tumor Proportion Score [TPS] > 50%) as determined by an FDA-approved test, with no EGFR, ALK or ROS1 aberrations.