ASCO and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) hosted a reception on Capitol Hill for Members of Congress and their staff to underscore the two organizations’ shared policy priorities to improve research and cancer care delivery for patients and survivors.
During the reception, ASCO and ACS CAN released their shared priorities, which included increased federal funding for cancer research. The groups are asking Congress to provide the National Institutes of Health with $41.6 billion for fiscal year 2020, including $6.5 billion for the National Cancer Institute.
Howard A. “Skip” Burris III, MD, FACP, FASCO
Addressing lawmakers who attended the event, ASCO President-Elect Howard A. “Skip” Burris III, MD, FACP, FASCO, said, “We are here tonight to offer ourselves as a resource. Together, ACS CAN and ASCO are working to make a difference for patients with cancer, and we stand united in our support for funding of the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute.”
In addition, policymakers were urged to pass legislation to improve patient access to clinical trials and cancer treatment. Specifically, both groups support the Clinical Treatment Act, legislation that will remove barriers for Medicaid patients to enroll in clinical trials; the Palliative Care Hospice Education and Training Act, which will increase workforce, education, and research for palliative care; the Cancer Drug Parity Act, which will promote parity for oral anticancer drugs; and the Safe Step Act, a measure that will ensure patients with private insurance have reasonable protections against harmful step therapy practices.
Several Members of Congress who attended the reception used the opportunity to convey their support for federally funded cancer research.
“The growth that has been made over the last 5 years in fighting cancer has just been enormous, but we still have a way to go,” said Rep. Brendan Boyle (PA-2) in his remarks during the event. “I look forward to getting closer to the day when we will tackle cancer.”■
© 2019. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.