At the recent annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Orlando, Florida, a coalition of cancer patient advocacy organizations led by The International Myeloma foundation (IMF), and the Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation (MDSF), brought to light a new "statement of principles" designed to aid cancer patients.

The statement called for equal insurance coverage, prevention research, continued innovation, early approvals, and expanded access to experimental drugs.

The principles were issued as follows:

  • Prevention is the key to reducing the burden of cancer
  • Continuing innovation is critical to early diagnosis and better treatment
  • Equality of access to care is imperative
  • Early approval of new treatments for deadly cancers is essential
  • Patients who have exhausted approved therapies need simplified access to experimental agents whenever possible

“When patients are diagnosed with cancer, their concern should be managing their disease, not reimbursement for their treatments. Oral drugs should have the same coverage as hospital-based procedures; research and innovation must be encouraged and supported; and for fatal diseases, the criteria for drug approvals should emphasize expedited approval and ready access to them.”  Kathy Heptinstall, BSN, RN, operating director and co-founder of the Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation



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