Denver, Colo. – Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a bill today that will expand access to clinical trials for individuals enrolled in the state Medicaid program. Also known as the Equity in Access to Clinical Trials in Medicaid bill, H.B. 1232 authorizes the state Medicaid program to cover routine costs associated with phase I through phase IV clinical trials involving the prevention, detection, diagnosis or treatment of life-threatening or debilitating conditions or diseases such as cancer.
In response, R.J. Ours, Colorado government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), issued the following statement:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the health disparities that underserved communities face. Like COVID-19, cancer affects everyone, but it doesn’t affect everyone equally. More than 27,000 Coloradans will be diagnosed with cancer this year, but not all of them will equally benefit from medical advances in cancer prevention, early detection, diagnostic testing and treatment care.
“Clinical trials are a significant way to advance life-saving cancer treatments and this bill will ensure more Coloradans have an opportunity to participate in them by bringing down one of the main barriers that prevents participation: cost.
“Our ACS CAN members and volunteers wish to thank our wonderful bill sponsors, Governor Polis and the Colorado General Assembly for supporting this bill. ACS CAN looks forward to working with them and tackling the systemic inequalities that continue to disenfranchise the poor, communities of color, and rural residents leading to higher incidence and mortality rates from cancer for these groups.”