Public Policy Resources

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As a recognized expert in cancer health policy, ACS CAN develops reports, white papers, testimony, fact sheets, regulatory comment letters and public policy on a wide range of issues related to preventing cancer and improving the health care system for persons with cancer and survivors.  We encourage you to use this resource to learn more about our issue priorities and policy work. If you can't find something you need, you may contact us by using our contact form and selecting Policy Resources from the drop-down menu.

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Patient Quality of Life

ACS CAN advocates for policies that improve the lives of cancer patients by making treatment of their pain and other symptoms and coordination of their care standard protocol throughout their treatment for cancer, starting at the point of diagnosis.
 

Featured Resources

 

In August-September 2019, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) — through its Survivor Views Project  — conducted a survey of cancer patients and survivors to determine whether they were asking for and getting appropriate palliative care treatment. 

This table lists key studies and review articles that examine the effect that the addition of palliative care has on overall patient costs. While results vary, the addition of palliative care typically either reduces overall costs or is cost neutral.

Photo of ACS CAN Volunteers at Advocacy Event to Support Cancer Research Funding

Research, Funding and Drug Development

Improvements in outcomes for cancer patients require continued research and innovation.  ACS CAN advocates for robust federal funding for cancer research, as well as research and drug approval policies that accelerate the development of new treatments while still ensuring patient safety.

ACS CAN submitted comments to Medicare Administrative Contractors proposing coverage for minimal residual disease testing for cancer. 

Precision medicine in cancer involves targeted therapies which work by interfering with specific cellular processes involved in the growth, spread, and progression of cancer. Treatment with targeted therapy often requires diagnostic testing to identify specific cancer biomarkers. Testing patients for biomarkers is integral to precision medicine in cancer care.

Every five years the FDA drug user fees are reauthorized, offering an opportunity to influence priorities.  ACS CAN is recommending an increased focus on patient representation in regulatory decision making, guidance to drive increased use of decentralized trials, and a scientific focus on dispar

Photo of ACS CAN Volunteers participating in health care reform Lobby Day event

Access to Health Care

ACS CAN advocates for policies that provide access to treatments and services people with cancer need for their care - including those who may be newly diagnosed, in active treatment and cancer survivors.

Many patients with complex diseases like cancer find it difficult to afford their treatments – even when they have health insurance.  Current law establishes a limit on what most private insurance plans can require enrollees to pay in out-of-pocket costs.  These limits protect patients from extremely high costs and are essential to any health care system that works for cancer patients and survivors.

 

The incidence of cancer increases with age and thus the Medicare program is vitally important to millions of Americans who are undergoing active cancer treatment, are cancer survivors or who have not yet developed cancer.

High deductible health plans (HDHPs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) are becoming more common in employer-sponsored insurance and the individual and small group markets.  These types of plans have risks and features must be implemented carefully so they do not harm cancer patients, survivors or those at risk for cancer.

Photo of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Event Participant

Prevention and Early Detection

ACS CAN advocates for public policies that can prevent nearly half of all cancer deaths by ensuring access to recommended cancer screenings, protecting the public from skin cancer risk, reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke and supporting people in increasing physical activity, eating a healthy diet, and managing their weight.

This factsheet reviews recommended guidelines and insurance coverge for lung cancer screening.

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and Truth Initiative present the following principles FDA should use when implementing the premarket review process for tobacco products.

This factsheet provides a summary of the premarket review requirements and status of FDA's enforcement of the requirements.