On March 22, 2023, the Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to retifanlimab-dlwr (Zynyz, Incyte Corporation) for adult patients with metastatic or recurrent locally advanced Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC).
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) recently submitted a response to an RFI from the Senate HELP Committee, 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.
On March 16, 2023, the Food and Drug Administration approved dabrafenib (Tafinlar, Novartis) with trametinib (Mekinist, Novartis) for pediatric patients 1 year of age and older with low-grade glioma (LGG) with a BRAF V600E mutation who require systemic therapy. The FDA also approved new oral formulations of both drugs suitable for patients who cannot swallow pills.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 to improve vaccination rates among high-risk adults.
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.
The American Medical Association (AMA) released an updated Specialty Impact Table for Medicare physician reimbursement in calendar year 2023. The estimated impact on the hematology/oncology specialty is now -1% for 2023. Though, individual or practice level effects of these changes will vary based on geographic location, service location, and mix of services billed.
The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) submitted comments in response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Contract Year 2024 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs proposed rule. ASCO’s comments focus heavily on the proposed changes to prior authorization in the MA program in addition to enhancing health equity and other updates to the Part D drug benefit program.
On February 9, 2023, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved dostarlimab-gxly (Jemperli, GlaxoSmithKline LLC) for adult patients with mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) recurrent or advanced endometrial cancer, as determined by an FDA-approved test, that has progressed on or following a prior platinum-containing regimen in any setting and are not candidates for curative surgery or radiation.