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 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). PTAC is an advisory group to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which sends recommendations to the Secretary of HHS on stakeholder proposals for a type of alternative payment model known as a physician-focused payment model (PFPM).

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push to lower prescription drug prices, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a proposed rule and draft guidance on drug importation into the Unites States (U.S.).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. The rule, however, would exclude the importation of biologics and infused drugs.

January 21, 2020

Price transparency is often highlighted in conversations about health care reform in the U.S. since prices vary for health care goods and services by location, provider choice, health insurance benefit design, and other factors. Such complexity within the health care delivery system makes it difficult to distill and share information that would be meaningful and useful to 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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