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.

 

ACS CAN submitted comments regarding the Proposed 2022 CDC Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids. While we support certain changes in the Guideline - including a clearer exemption for cancer patients and patients receiving palliative care - we continue to have concerns about the misapplication of this and the previous Guideline. 

ACS CAN supports balanced policies that address the public health concerns relevant to the opioid epidemic,  that do not harm patient access to  medications that they need to treat pain appropriately. 

Palliative care is coordinated patient care that treats the patient as well as the disease.  It provides cancer patients and their caregivers an extra layer of support, making available a team of experts focused on relieving pain, managing emotional stress and offering other supportive services.

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.

Pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing is a component of precision medicine that involves examining a patient’s inherited genes to detect variations that may impact the way a drug is broken down, absorbed and used within the body. 

As part of his renewed Cancer Moonshot initiative, President Biden has set the goal of reducing cancer deaths by 50% by 2050. ACS and ACS CAN are committed to helping achieve that goal by tackling cancer at every angle.

ACS CAN submitted comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the Diversity Plans To Improve Enrollment of Participants From Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Populations in Clinical Trials Draft Guidance for Industry. 

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.

On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion and overruling the precedents of Roe and Casey. State actions on access to abortion services could have significant impact on cancer patients. 

Prescription drug costs are a significant burden on cancer patients and survivors, sometimes even leading patients to miss or delay taking prescribed medications. The latest Survivor Views survey explores the role copay assistance programs can play in reducing this burden, and also addresses patient navigation and digital therapeutics.

Short-term limited duration (STLD) insurance plans do not provide the kind of comprehensive insurance coverage cancer patients need.  These plans were designed only as temporary coverage and are not subject to the same Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements as other health insurance products on the market.  As a result, an enrollee who was attracted to the plan’s lower premiums may find – if they are diagnosed with a serious illness like cancer – that the plan does not cover all of their necessary cancer treatments.  In these cases, the consumer can be left with catastrophic costs.

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.

ACS and ACS CAN submitted comments and recommendations regarding the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, planned to be held in September 2022. 

The U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Surgeon General, and Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have all declared youth e-cigarette use to be an epidemic. E-cigarettes are the most used tobacco product among youth and, like any tobacco product, are unsafe. E-cigarette use is also most common among younger adults. Action is urgently needed to reverse these dangerous trends.

The undersigned organizations write to express our concern that FDA has yet to issue any decisions on applications for marketing orders for menthol-flavored e-cigarettes or e-liquid products. We believe granting any such orders would be inconsistent with the agency’s marketing denial orders for other non-tobacco flavored products and would be harmful to public health, particularly to the health of young people.