WASHINGTON, D.C.—February 23, 2024—As organizations dedicated to ending cancer as we know it for everyone, the American Cancer Society and its advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), are deeply concerned about a recent decision by the Supreme Court
Arizona House of Representatives Passes Legislation to Increase Access to Innovative Testing and Lifesaving Treatments
Progress in improving cancer outcomes increasingly involves the use of biomarker testing and precision medicine
Phoenix, Ariz. – Today, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would ensure biomarker testing is covered by more insurance plans, including Medicaid, when patients need it. House Bill 2144 aims to enable more Arizonans to benefit from biomarker testing, a critical step in accessing precision medicine treatments. The bill now heads to the Senate.
Dubbed ‘the right treatment, to the right patient, at the right time,’ precision medicine has played a critical role in improving cancer outcomes. For example, patients with certain lung cancer types who received biomarker testing and targeted therapy had a 34% reduction in mortality. But to determine if a patient will benefit from certain targeted therapies, doctors must test for specific biomarkers – such as gene mutations – found in blood, tissues or other biospecimens.
Despite its benefits, access to biomarker testing has not kept pace with the rate of innovation due to several factors, including lack of coverage by private health insurance and Medicaid programs for appropriate testing.
The following is a statement from Brian Hummell, government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) in Arizona:
“Biomarker testing and precision medicine are helping extend and save lives by tailoring care and treatment to a person’s individual condition. This legislation will help dismantle cost barriers and bring the promise of precision medicine to cancer patients and survivors no matter their income, race or where they live.
“ACS CAN thanks the Arizona House for approving this legislation and urges the Senate to follow suit and also take this critical step towards reducing health inequities and improving cancer outcomes.”
For more information on precision medicine, cancer biomarkers, current barriers to biomarker testing and ACS CAN’s policy recommendations, visit: www.fightcancer.org/biomarkers.