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(October 7, 2002)

October 7, 2002

Dear Senator:

As the 107th Congress draws to a close, the cancer community urges the Congress to place a high priority on passage of the Access to Cancer Therapies Act before adjournment. While we all strongly support a comprehensive Medicare drug benefit, that goal may not be attainable this year. Therefore, we believe it is imperative that any Medicare legislative package include at least some enhancement of benefits, and no candidate is more pressing than S. 913.

Hundreds of your colleagues in the Congress have lent their support to this legislation. More than half of all Senators and more than three-quarters of House Members have signed on as co-sponsors. It is difficult to imagine a more worthy legislative option for incremental benefit enhancement.

Cancer is a disease of the elderly, and beneficiaries depend almost exclusively on the Medicare program to access quality cancer care. As cancer therapies move increasingly to oral delivery rather than provider administration, quality cancer care can only be maintained if beneficiaries have access to the new targeted therapies that remedy the specific cancer-causing defect without devastating side effects.

S. 913 will provide immediate access to these life-saving new targeted drugs, while also relieving breast and prostate cancer patients of the burden of paying out-of-pocket for drugs that have long been known to improve survival and enhance quality of life. This is
something the Senate can do now to make life better for beneficiaries with cancer. We hope you will do everything in your power to see to it that the 107th Congress counts among its achievements the passage of the Access to Cancer Therapies Act.


Cancer Leadership Council

Alliance for Lung Cancer Advocacy, Support, and Education
American Cancer Society
American Society of Clinical Oncology
American Society for Therapeutic Radiology & Oncology, Inc.
Association of American Cancer Institutes
Cancer Care, Inc.
Cancer Research Foundation of America
The Children's Cause, Inc.
Coalition of National Cancer Cooperative Groups
Colorectal Cancer Network
Kidney Cancer Association
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Lymphoma Research Foundation
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
National Patient Advocate Foundation
North American Brain Tumor Coalition
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
Us Too! International - Prostate Cancer Education and Support
The Wellness Community
Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization

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