Organizations Urge Congress to Support CLINICAL TREATMENT Act, Other Policies to Encourage Clinical Trial Diversity

May 12, 2020

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently sent a letter to House and Senate leadership urging their support for policies to increase diversity in clinical trials, including the CLINICAL TREATMENT Act (H.R. 913), in a future COVID-19 response package. These policies were included in Title IV of the Cures 2.0 concept paper, which was developed by Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Fred Upton (R-MI) to safely and efficiently modernize the delivery of health care in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Seventy-seven organizations representing researchers, physicians, survivors, and their families signed onto the letter in support of these provisions.

“We encourage Congress to include proposals from Title IV of the Cures 2.0 concept paper in upcoming legislation to further address the COVID-19 public health crisis. These clinical trials policies are bipartisan, well vetted, and broadly supported in the community, leaving no reason for delay,” the organizations state in the letter.

The COVID-19 public health crisis has highlighted existing disparities in our nation’s health care system. For example, Medicaid is the only major payer not required by law to provide coverage for routine care costs associated with clinical trials. Particularly now, when families across the country are facing even greater financial strain, the lack of coverage for routine care costs should not be a barrier to enrolling in clinical trials. The CLINICAL TREATMENT Act would address this disparity by guaranteeing coverage of routine care costs of clinical trial participation for Medicaid enrollees with a life-threatening condition.

Ask your Representatives and Senators to support Medicaid coverage of routine care costs through the easy-to-use form letters on the ASCO ACT Network.

Learn more about Medicaid coverage for clinical trials and the Cures 2.0 concept paper. Read the letter to House and Senate leadership.

Stay up to date on Medicaid coverage and other policy issues affecting oncology by subscribing to the ASCO in Action bi-weekly newsletter through your member profile.