CLC Endorses HR 716, Access to Cancer Clinical Trials Act
April 28, 2009
The Honorable Steve Israel
Dear Representative Israel:
We are writing to express our enthusiastic support for H.R. 716, the Access to Cancer Clinical Trials Act of 2009. The undersigned cancer patient, provider, and research organizations have been engaged for almost two decades in efforts to guarantee cancer patients access to care in clinical trials. Enactment of the H.R. 716 would provide such access for many Americans.
Care in a clinical trial often represents the best, or sometimes the only, option for quality care. Unfortunately, reimbursement barriers prevent many Americans from enrolling in a trial or from even considering a trial as a treatment option. Your legislation will address that payment obstacle and will also ensure that cancer clinical research advances. Only if the clinical research effort proceeds without impediment can questions about effective treatments be answered and new treatments developed.
We applaud the incorporation in H.R. 716 of the standards and definitions for coverage of clinical trials that are included in the current Medicare clinical trials coverage policy. These Medicare standards have worked well since 2000, and they are the appropriate measure for coverage in the private sector.
As the legislative process moves forward, we hope you will consider including a provision establishing clinical trials coverage for federal employees. Many of our organizations have fielded calls and letters from federal employees across the country who are denied access to cancer care provided in trials. We know that the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program is often described as a model health plan, but it falls short in coverage of clinical trials.
Thank you again for introduction of the Access to Cancer Clinical Trials Act. We stand ready to assist you in enacting this important legislation.
Cancer Leadership Council
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
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