On June 17, 2020, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health held a hearing entitled "Health Care Inequality: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19 and the Health Care System." The International Myeloma Foundation sent a letter of support to the committee for their efforts to address health disparities, which also highlighted our endorsement of legislation we believe could improve diversity in clinical trials.
H.R. 913, The Clinical Treatment Act would ensure Medicaid covers the costs for routine care while participating in a clinical trial for those wishing to participate in them. While this is already done in some states, many states do not require this.
We already know that diversity in myeloma trials are problematic. There are reports that Black Americans comprise 20% of the population of myeloma patients, however, they only account for 6% of patients in clinical trials. We believe this legislation would be a positive step forward to fix this problem for cancer patients as well as patients with COVID, particularly for Black American patients. More diverse trials mean better and personalized care for all myeloma patients. We will continue to monitor this issue and fight for patients being impacted by health disparities.