The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing today on several bills aimed at addressing the ongoing U.S. drug shortage crisis. Many of the bills contain provisions the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) supports as effective means to mitigate and prevent drug shortages and promote a more resilient supply chain in the future.
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 Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is continuing to work advocating for solutions to the cancer drug shortage crisis. ASCO responded to a Request for Information from House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo, and subsequently provided feedback on a discussion draft of potential legislation addressing drug shortages. The Association’s comments noted the meaningful progress toward addressing the root causes of drug shortages and offered specific feedback on proposals.
Prior to leaving Washington, D.C., to spend the August recess in their states and districts, members of Congress engaged in a flurry of July activity on issues the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is tracking closely.
The Senate Appropriations Committee on July 27 passed the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies FY 2024 spending bill, which includes $47.8 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), $7.38 billion for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and $1.5 billion for the Advanced Research Projects Agency on Health (ARPA-H).
A statement from Everett E. Vokes, MD, FASCO, Chair of the Board, Association for Clinical Oncology, follows:
The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) responded to a bicameral Request for Information (RFI) on the underlying factors driving drug shortages. The Association’s comments highlighted the impact of the shortages on patient care and pointed to economic failures and supply chain vulnerabilities that have led to shortages of critical oncology drugs for more than a decade.
ASCO is continuing to collaborate with State Affiliates and outside stakeholders to raise awareness and facilitate implementation of the CLINICAL TREATMENT Act, which requires all states and territories to cover and reimburse routine costs of care for treating a Medicaid enrollee who is participating in a qualifying clinical trial.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has issued a statement on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling involving equal treatment for the LGBTQ+ community.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has issued a statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court decision on affirmative action.
The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) continues to urge Congress to help prevent and mitigate cancer drug shortages by reauthorizing the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) with provisions to improve the function and composition of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to strengthen the drug and medical supply chain. On June 13, 2023, ASCO’s Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President Julie R. Gralow, MD, FACP, FASCO, testified in a House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing on solutions for preparedness and response to public health security threats and hazards, including PAHPA reauthorization and its programs aimed at strengthening the SNS.
Today the U.S. House is poised to vote on legislation to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. The proposal includes flat funding for non-defense discretionary spending in FY 2024 and a 1% funding increase in FY 2025. This would considerably restrict potential resources for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) at a time when scientists are on the cusp of so many promising cancer discoveries.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Association for Clinical Oncology (collectively ASCO) are closely monitoring the current, acute shortages of cisplatin and carboplatin in the United States. ASCO has developed guidance for clinicians and recommendations to policymakers to help mitigate the current shortages and prevent similar situations in the future. ASCO is also keeping its members up-to-date as supplies of both drugs become available and encourages providers to report shortages and contact their lawmakers about the situation.
Members of the Association for Clinical Oncology converged on Capitol Hill on May 2 for the 2023 ASCO Advocacy Summit where they met face-to-face with lawmakers to discuss critical issues in cancer care and research. The summit was part of a broader Week of Action where advocates from across the country were encouraged to send nearly a thousand letters to Members of Congress through the ACT Network urging them to act on key policy priorities.
More than 150 members of the Association of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the leading professional organization for oncology professionals, will meet with Members of Congress on Tuesday urging them to make cancer care a top priority.
“Lawmakers have a profound effect on cancer patients and their doctors. From funding the research that leads to new groundbreaking treatments, to ensuring those treatments are covered by insurance and accessible and affordable to patients; lawmakers play a pivotal role,” said ASCO Board Chair Lori J. Pierce, MD, FASTRO, FASCO.
The Association for Clinical Oncology, and nearly 120 other national physician specialty societies and state medical associations, commend a bipartisan group of physician members of Congress who recently introduced the Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act (H.R. 2474) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would allow Medicare physicians to receive inflationary reimbursement updates, based on the Medicare Economic Index, similar to those other health care providers receive.
The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is holding its annual Advocacy Summit Week of Action from May 1-5, during which ASCO members are encouraged to connect with their Members of Congress about policies and legislation that impact cancer care and research. Participants may visit the ACT Network to contact their lawmakers—in just a few clicks—to urge them to take action on the following issues: