Access to Affordable Cancer Drugs

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Fighting cancer is a struggle. Getting access to the lifesaving cancer drugs you need – at a price you can afford - shouldn't be.

Too many cancer patients face barriers in getting health insurance coverage for the prescription drugs recommended by their oncologist. And then, oftentimes, even when coverage is there, their share of the cost can bust the household budget.

We must find new solutions to make cancer drugs more accessible and affordable for cancer patients - whether through new regulations or laws passed by Congress and your state legislature.
 

56% of cancer patients and survivors are worried about being able to afford their treatment

Latest Updates

February 10, 2020
National

The administration released its FY21 budget today which contains significant cuts to health care programs. If implemented, the cuts could leave millions more Americans uninsured and unable to access comprehensive health coverage and stall medical research essential to preventing, detecting and treating cancer.

February 4, 2020
Tennessee

On Tuesday, February 4 th coalition partners and advocates from across the state joined forces for the Tennesseans for Affordable Access to Medicine Day of Action. The goal was to ask Tennessee state lawmakers to reform step therapy protocols. Step therapy, often called “fail first,” is a process that requires

January 21, 2020
Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – January 21, 2020 – As lawmakers dive into the new year, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is pursuing legislation that will ease the burden of cancer in Illinois. The latest edition of the ACS CAN’s How Do You Measure Up? report

December 17, 2019

Congress is poised to pass a funding bill this week that includes a $2.6 billion increase for medical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The measure, agreed upon by both House and Senate conference committee members, also provides $296 million increase for the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Access to Affordable Cancer Drugs Resources

ACS CAN is very concerned about proposed policy changes that would move coverage of cancer and supportive care drugs from Part B to Part D. Proposed policy changes could jeopardize patient access to drugs, create potential safety issues, and increase out-of-pocket costs for patients who already struggle to afford cancer treatment under the current Medicare program.

In 2003, Congress passed the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA), which created an outpatient prescription drug benefit in the Medicare program. Known as Part D, the prescription benefit is operated exclusively through private insurance plans that contract with Medicare. To ensure that beneficiaries have coverage for the drugs they need Part D plans are required to cover at least two drugs in each therapeutic class. A therapeutic class is a group of medications that are used to treat the same condition. 

Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are entities that administer prescription drug programs for many private, public, and employer health insurance plans. PBMs establish pharmacy networks, negotiate prices with pharmaceutical manufacturers on behalf of their clients, and provide basic claims administration.