Remove Hurdles to Cancer Care

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COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on the significant barriers to affordable health care that cancer patients have long faced. While relief packages and proposals to date have worked to address affordability of COVID-specific testing and treatment, policymakers must also tackle hurdles that cancer patients face like removing the red tape of prior authorization and step therapy, reducing out-of-pocket costs, and ensuring cost-sharing assistance directly benefits patients. There has been a great deal of research and investment in effective therapies that allow people fighting cancer to survive and live longer. Cancer patients need Congress to act quickly to remove hurdles to quality care.

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

Latest Updates

January 8, 2021
Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, IL – As lawmakers dive into the new year, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) asks that legislators support legislation that will ease the cancer burden in Illinois. Long after this pandemic passes, people deserve to live full, healthy lives. ACS CAN is advocating for: Prescription

December 18, 2020
National

The U.S. Senate passed legislation tonight aimed at improving access to clinical trials for communities of color and decreasing health disparities.

Cancer Candor Blog
October 22, 2020

The true costs of cancer are heavy, they are deep, and they are ultimately unaffordable for many, a challenge further exacerbated by this year’s COVID-19 pandemic and spotlighted by the upcoming Supreme Court case challenging the Affordable Care Act.

September 17, 2020
Montana

Cancer patients, survivors and volunteer advocates from across Montana met virtually Thursday with U.S. Senate candidate Gov. Steve Bullock for a nonpartisan discussion on policies and issues that are critical to fighting cancer. The meeting was part of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) Cancer Votes campaign—the nation’s leading voter education program informing the public and candidates about the actions lawmakers should take to make fighting cancer a national priority.

Remove Hurdles to Cancer Care Resources

Many cancer patients take multiple drugs as part of their treatment – often for many months or years. While drugs are not the only costly part of cancer treatment, finding ways to reduce these costs for patients and payers will significantly reduce the overall cost burden of cancer.

Many cancer patients have difficulty affording the cost of their prescription drugs, regardless of whether they are insured.  This is especially true for newer drugs that do not have a generic equivalent.  Many programs exist to help patients afford their medication.  This fact sheet focuses on two of these – patient assistance programs and discount coupons.  

ACS CAN joined 50 groups representing, cancer patients, survivors, doctors, nurses, cancer centers, pharmacists and researchers urging Congress to address barriers to patient access to care and coverage.