Cancer Advocates Urge Lawmakers to Support Improving Virginians’ Access to Lifesaving Medication

ACS CAN Virginia Cancer Action Day: Volunteers travel to Richmond to connect with lawmakers on Senate Bill 376/ House Bill 946

January 24, 2024

RICHMOND, VA – JANUARY 24, 2024 – Today, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) volunteers rallied at the Virginia State Capitol as a part of their annual Cancer Action Day, urging lawmakers to support Senate Bill 376/House Bill 946, which seeks to improve Virginians’ access to lifesaving medication.

Currently in Virginia, many residents maintain health coverage that does not offer an option for affordable, flat-dollar prescription drug copays, leaving countless Virginians with co-insurance plans as their only option and thus responsible for a percentage of the total cost of their medication. Senate Bill 376/House Bill 946 aims to rectify that by ensuring that individual and small-market insurers offer some plans with flat dollar copays for prescription medication.VA CAD 2024

Among the advocates at this year’s Cancer Action Day was Tiffany Freeman, a proud Virginian who completed treatment for stage III colorectal cancer just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown in 2020.

Freeman, like many Virginians battling cancer, encountered high out-of-pocket costs over the course of her treatment and survivorship. As she continues to navigate large expenses associated with surveillance scans and medication, she understands the financial burden that a cancer diagnosis can bring—and so was proud to travel to Richmond from Ivanhoe to stand alongside her fellow survivors in calling on lawmakers to improve their constituents’ access to lifesaving care.

“My family is no stranger to cancer; years before I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, we lost my grandmother to the same diagnosis,” said Freeman. “What my family was unprepared for was the near-insurmountable out-of-pocket expenses associated with my lifesaving care. Thankfully, the high costs were not a barrier to my care, but the same cannot be said for many Virginians who’ve forgone care to avoid strapping medical debt. No patient should have to choose between their physical and financial health.”

Several states have already taken similar actions to reduce the out-of-pocket burden for patients—none of which have reported increases in health plan spending as a result.

“As a long-time advocate for cancer patients and a survivor of pancreatic cancer, I have heard far too many stories of patients cutting medication in half or forgoing it altogether because they weren’t able to afford the out-of-pocket expense. Delaying or refraining from crucial care is not only bad for patients’ health but that of our health systems; when patients abandon their treatment, they end up getting sicker, which only triggers more costs to hospitals and practices,” said Brian Donohue, Government Relations Director for ACS CAN in Virginia. “Patients deserve predictable, affordable access to their lifesaving medications. Senate Bill 376/House Bill 946 can help make that possible.”

In 2024, approximately 48,560 Virginians will be diagnosed with cancer and 16,420 are expected to die from the disease. To learn more about how ACS CAN advocates for cancer patients and survivors at the local, state and federal levels or to learn more about how to get involved in our advocacy efforts, visit



About ACS CAN 

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) advocates for evidence-based public policies to reduce the cancer burden for everyone.  As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state, and local levels. By engaging advocates across the country to make their voices heard, ACS CAN influences legislative and regulatory solutions that will end cancer as we know it. 


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