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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March 28, 2023

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) submitted a statement to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs for a hearing titled, “Drug Shortage Health and National Security Risks: Underlying Causes and Needed Reforms.” ASCO’s statement highlighted the current drug shortages facing the oncology community and offered specific recommendations to help mitigate them. 

March 28, 2023

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) submitted a response to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Request for Information (RFI) on the reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA). The legislation includes numerous programs, like the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), that aid the U.S. in preparing for and responding to public health emergencies.

March 23, 2023

Dr. Brian Persing, a medical oncologist and hematologist in Mobile, Alabama and member of the Association of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the world’s leading professional organization representing nearly 45,000 oncology professionals, will testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor Health and Human Services and Education today in support of increased federal funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. He will also advocate for robust funding of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H).

March 21, 2023

To better understand the drivers of health care workforce shortages, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee issued a Request for Information (RFI) to gain insight from stakeholders as well as explore strategies to address health care workforce shortages. The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently submitted a response to this RFI, focusing on current oncology workforce demographics, drivers of oncology shortages across the care team, lack of workforce diversity, and the distribution of oncology professionals across rural America.

March 20, 2023

On January 1, a provision of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) went into effect requiring drug companies to pay rebates to Medicare when prescription drug prices increase faster than the rate of inflation for certain drugs given to people enrolled in the program. The provision also provides for lower Medicare Part B beneficiary cost sharing on such drugs beginning April 1, 2023.

March 14, 2023

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) submitted comments in response to a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) proposal is to streamline prior authorization by requiring Medicare Advantage plans, Medicaid plans, and Qualified Health Plans (QHP) on Federally Facilitated Exchanges (FFEs) to establish an electronic prior authorization process that would be integrated into a provider’s workflow.

March 14, 2023

On March 7, Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) volunteers joined more than 85 representatives of One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC) on Capitol Hill for a lobby day in support of federal funding for medical research. 

March 9, 2023

Today President Biden released his proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 federal budget with an emphasis on increased funding for medical research and expanded access to health insurance.

March 6, 2023

On March 3, 2023, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved abemaciclib (Verzenio, Eli Lilly and Company) with endocrine therapy (tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor) for the adjuvant treatment of adult patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative, node-positive, early breast cancer at high risk of recurrence.

March 1, 2023

Medical institutions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the Sub-Saharan Africa region are invited to participate in ASCO’s education and knowledge-exchange program, the International Cancer Corps (ICC). The request for proposals (RFP) is now open, and all proposals are due July 15.

February 28, 2023

On February 24, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced proposed permanent rules for the prescribing of controlled medications via telemedicine. This summary includes relevant provisions for the oncology community. 

February 28, 2023

On January 30, the Biden Administration announced the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) will end on May 11, 2023. The PHE enabled flexibilities that helped providers treat patients during the pandemic. With the PHE ending, many of these flexibilities are being phased out. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) summarized the known end dates of some major flexibilities of interest to oncologists.

February 16, 2023

On February 14, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) selected three models aiming to address high prescription drug costs for testing by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). This effort to identify ways to lower drug costs in United States comes in response to President Biden’s Executive Order, “Lowering Prescription Drug Costs for Americans,” which complements provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

February 14, 2023

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is working with eight oncology health systems to develop, test, and measure strategies to improve immunization rates as part of an initiative with the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) to improve vaccination rates among high-risk adults.

February 14, 2023

Both chambers of the United States Congress are working on a top health care priority for the session—protecting patients from high out-of-pocket drug costs and pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) practices that could reduce access and adherence to treatments. The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) will monitor the status of these bills and any future bills that address PBM practices and patient out-of-pocket costs, and it will work with Congress to ensure the oncology community is heard throughout the process.