Donation

Latest News

  • S. 464, Safe Step Act of 2021 - March 2021
    The Safe Step Act amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to require a group health plan provide an exception process for any medication step therapy protocol.
  • Prevent Cancer Foundation - March 2021
    Essential legislation in our battle against cancer
  • Radiation Oncology (RO) Model Stakeholder Sign On Letter - March 2021
    On behalf of the radiation oncology stakeholder community, including radiation oncologists, members of the radiation oncology cancer care team, group practices, hospitals, patient advocates, device manufacturers and more, we are writing to share our collective concerns about the Radiation Oncology (RO) Model, as it is currently designed, in the hopes of working with the new Administration to achieve our shared goals of value-based radiation oncology care.
  • Cancer Leadership Council - March 2021
    CDC 2021-0021, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
  • One Voice Against Cancer - February 2021
  • Cancer Leadership Council - Feb 2021
    Six Protected Classes Patient and Provider Letter
    On February 4th and 5th, IMF supported coalition letters sent to HHS Secretary-Designate Xavier Becerra opposing a proposal that would modify Medicare’s protected classes policy.

    As background, Medicare’s 6 Protected Classes policy requires Medicare plans to provide coverage of “all or substantially all drugs” within a class, including antineoplastic drugs, which are often used to treat cancer. This policy was created to ensure that patients who depend on certain medications are able to access their medications without barriers.

    Policy changes pertaining to Medicare’s protected classes are particularly important to patients with myeloma because many patients are treated with combination therapies. Our patient population would be adversely impacted if health plans had the ability to opt not to provide coverage of these drugs.
  • ACC Vaccination Prioritization Letter:
    On January 26, 2021, the International Myeloma Foundation led a group of cancer advocacy organizations in sending a letter to states regarding COVID-19 vaccine prioritization for cancer patients. Because many cancer patients are especially vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, we want to ensure that patients are prioritized above the general public.
  • The International Myeloma Foundation joined group efforts and signed onto the Cancer Leadership Council letter to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices advocating for patients
  • IMF Letter to Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services
    On January 20, 2021, the International Myeloma Foundation sent a letter to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services objecting to the Interim Final Rule with Comment Period entitled “Most Favored Nations Model” (MFN). This proposal would tie the prices of Medicare Part B (physician administered) drugs to those of other countries. While this initially may sound like it would be a good idea that would lower prices, the proposal itself states that the savings would occur because patients would lose access to their medications. It also acknowledges that patients could also be forced to seek care in other settings. Additionally, policy experts believe this would adversely impact patients as well as care providers. Many experts also estimate that it could also provide minimum impact when attempting to reduce what patients are paying out of pocket. In addition to our individual efforts, IMF joined several group efforts explaining the system wide issues that would occur.

    IMF believes myeloma patients could be disproportionately impacted by the proposal. There are 4 myeloma specific drugs on the initial list of drugs the proposal would begin with additionally, there are many other drugs included which are used to treat many of the side effects patients may be experiencing. Click the link above to read the IMF Letter.
     
    • Cancer Leadership Council - Feb 2021
      Six Protected Classes Patient and Provider Letter
      On February 4th and 5th, IMF supported coalition letters sent to HHS Secretary-Designate Xavier Becerra opposing a proposal that would modify Medicare’s protected classes policy.

      As background, Medicare’s 6 Protected Classes policy requires Medicare plans to provide coverage of “all or substantially all drugs” within a class, including antineoplastic drugs, which are often used to treat cancer. This policy was created to ensure that patients who depend on certain medications are able to access their medications without barriers.

      Policy changes pertaining to Medicare’s protected classes are particularly important to patients with myeloma because many patients are treated with combination therapies. Our patient population would be adversely impacted if health plans had the ability to opt not to provide coverage of these drugs.
    • ACC Vaccination Prioritization Letter:
      On January 26, 2021, the International Myeloma Foundation led a group of cancer advocacy organizations in sending a letter to states regarding COVID-19 vaccine prioritization for cancer patients. Because many cancer patients are especially vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, we want to ensure that patients are prioritized above the general public.
    • The International Myeloma Foundation joined group efforts and signed onto the Cancer Leadership Council letter to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices advocating for patients
    • IMF Letter to Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services
      On January 20, 2021, the International Myeloma Foundation sent a letter to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services objecting to the Interim Final Rule with Comment Period entitled “Most Favored Nations Model” (MFN). This proposal would tie the prices of Medicare Part B (physician administered) drugs to those of other countries. While this initially may sound like it would be a good idea that would lower prices, the proposal itself states that the savings would occur because patients would lose access to their medications. It also acknowledges that patients could also be forced to seek care in other settings. Additionally, policy experts believe this would adversely impact patients as well as care providers. Many experts also estimate that it could also provide minimum impact when attempting to reduce what patients are paying out of pocket. In addition to our individual efforts, IMF joined several group efforts explaining the system wide issues that would occur.

      IMF believes myeloma patients could be disproportionately impacted by the proposal. There are 4 myeloma specific drugs on the initial list of drugs the proposal would begin with additionally, there are many other drugs included which are used to treat many of the side effects patients may be experiencing. Click the link above to read the IMF Letter.
    • IMF Letter:
      On June 25th, the International Myeloma Foundation sent a letter to Dr. Steve Miller, Chief Clinical Officer for Cigna, which is the parent company for the pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts. The letter addresses concerns with the exclusion of two myeloma treatments, Ninlaro and Xpovio, from formularies that Express Script manages. While Medicare patients are not affected, the IMF is concerned at the lack of access for patients whose oncologist prescribes these treatments as the best and most effective for them. We are especially concerned for patients who already take these treatments, as no grandfathering system appears to be in place, and no exception process is apparent. The IMF will continue to press this issue with Dr. Miller and Express Scripts until we are satisfied that patients have access to every doctor recommended therapy they need to battle myeloma.
    • ACC Letter:
      On June 30th, the All Cancers Congress (ACC), a collection of like-minded cancer organizations working together to the benefit of their patients, also sent a letter to Dr. Miller. Like the IMF letter, The ACC letter addresses concerns with the exclusion of cancer treatments from formularies that Express Script manages. The ACC is especially concerned for patients who already take these treatments, as no grandfathering system appears to be in place, and no exception process is apparent.
  • HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2022
    The proposed 2022 NBPP includes provisions to which we strongly object as well as provisions that we support. This letter offers comments stemming from our unique insight as individuals for whom continuity of care, accessibility of comprehensive coverage, and affordability of life-saving medications are truly essential. We believe that health insurance must be structured to meet the healthcare needs of patients with serious and chronic conditions at all times, but especially during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
  • ACC Letter:
    On June 30th, the All Cancers Congress (ACC), a collection of like-minded cancer organizations working together to the benefit of their patients, also sent a letter to Dr. Miller. Like the IMF letter, The ACC letter addresses concerns with the exclusion of cancer treatments from formularies that Express Script manages. The ACC is especially concerned for patients who already take these treatments, as no grandfathering system appears to be in place, and no exception process is apparent.

Recent Executive Orders Impacting the Myeloma Community - August 26, 2020

  • In the last few weeks, President Trump has signed several executive orders that may have an impact on myeloma patients if the orders survive legal scrutiny.

    For some context in understating these orders, it is important to know that executive orders are mandates or directives for executive branch departments to follow related to an existing law. The orders or memorandums are not laws per se but carry the force and effect of law.

CIACC Letter on Rural Health and Telehealth Executive Order - August 17, 2020

IMF and All Cancers Congress Advocate for Greater Cancer Treatment Access from Express Scripts

  • IMF Letter

    On June 25th, the International Myeloma Foundation sent a letter to Dr. Steve Miller, Chief Clinical Officer for Cigna, which is the parent company for the pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts. The letter addresses concerns with the exclusion of two myeloma treatments, Ninlaro and Xpovio, from formularies that Express Script manages. While Medicare patients are not affected, the IMF is concerned at the lack of access for patients whose oncologist prescribes these treatments as the best and most effective for them. We are especially concerned for patients who already take these treatments, as no grandfathering system appears to be in place, and no exception process is apparent. The IMF will continue to press this issue with Dr. Miller and Express Scripts until we are satisfied that patients have access to every doctor recommended therapy they need to battle myeloma
  • ACC Letter

    On June 30th, the All Cancers Congress (ACC), a collection of like-minded cancer organizations working together to the benefit of their patients, also sent a letter to Dr. Miller. Like the IMF letter, The ACC letter addresses concerns with the exclusion of cancer treatments from formularies that Express Script manages. The ACC is especially concerned for patients who already take these treatments, as no grandfathering system appears to be in place, and no exception process is apparent.

Disability Discrimination in COVID 19 Response for Congress 

  • Every patient must be treated as an individual, not a diagnosis. This means that the mere fact that a patient may have a diagnosis of cancer cannot be a basis, even in part, for denying care or making that person a lower priority to receive treatment. 


Cancer Drug Parity Act Mentioned in HELP Committee Markup

  • The Cancer Drug Parity Act (H.R. 1730 in the House and S. 741 in the Senate) ensures fairness in cost-sharing for all anticancer regimens. Health insurance cost-sharing schemes should not create barriers to cancer patients' ability to access potentially life-saving medicines. Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) is one of two original bill sponsors, the other being Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS). Click below to see Senator Smith’s comments on the bill during a committee hearing. 

 

IMF’s comments on the HHS Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs

  • Our Advocacy Team conveys to the Administration the perspectives and experiences of myeloma patients affected by high out-of-pocket drug costs.

For more news, please visit us at https://www.access2cancercare.org/

Gavel and Stethoscope
Federal Government Response to COVID-19

We wanted to take some time and keep you up to date on the Federal Government’s response regarding COVID-19. We have received a lot of questions from patients and their families about what is included in the government has done to address the virus. 

a
Image Left
White

Monthly Newsletter - 2021

Advocacy Newsletter VAM Newsletter
January January
February February
March March
April April
May May
June June
July July
August August
September September
October October
November November
December December

 

Give Where Most Needed

We use cookies on our website to support technical features that enhance your user experience.

We also use analytics & advertising services. To opt-out click for more information.