International Myeloma Foundation
Advocacy Update | December 2020 Recap
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happy new year
Happy New Year!
IMF’s advocacy team wishes you a safe and happy New Year. We appreciate the support you have provided throughout 2020 and look forward to providing you with opportunities to advocate for myeloma patients and their loved ones in 2021 and beyond.

In 2021, we pledge to work with legislators on both sides of the aisle to protect and bring about positive change for people living with myeloma and their families. We look forward to embarking on this adventure with you!
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IMF Leads Coalition in Sending Letter to Biden-Harris Transition Team
On December 8, 2020, IMF led the Coalition to Improve Access to Cancer Care in sending a letter to the Biden-Harris Presidential Transition Team. The letter contained the cancer community’s recommendations for improving the lives of Americans with cancer by increasing access to lifesaving therapies, which include the oral therapies many myeloma patients take. Our goal is to ensure that oral and self-administered therapies are just as accessible financially to patients as IV therapies. To read the letter, click here.
capitol hill dome
IMF Priorities Included in Year-End Spending Package
On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed the major government funding bill for FY 2021 into law. There are many important priorities the cancer advocacy community advocated for that were included in this package, many of which you joined us in supporting by contacting your legislators.

Some of these priorities include the the CLINICAL TREATMENT Act (H.R. 913/S. 4742), which will help people with Medicaid access clinical trials. Also included are increases in cancer research funding (NIH/NCI) and the inclusion of blood cancers as a topic area for research in the Department of Defense’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. The bill also included protections for consumers against surprise medical bills as well as many COVID-19 relief provisions.

Thank you to all who joined us in advocating for many of these important initiatives.
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MFN
In late 2020, the Trump Administration announced that starting on January 1, 2021, the U.S. would begin tying Medicare Part B drug prices to the prices paid in other nations, known as a “Most Favored Nation” (MFN) policy. On January 1, 2021, the proposal was halted due to a preliminary injunction being filed by a judge.

While the proposal has the intent of lowering what patients pay for their Part B drugs, most health care policy analysts believe patients would see very little impact from the proposal if it were to be implemented in the future as proposed. The International Myeloma Foundation opposes the MFN proposal. While we certainly agree that the financial burden patients face must be reduced, we share the concerns of many other advocates who believe the proposal could adversely impact patient access to their medications. The rule itself mentions that it could reduce the ability of Medicare patients to access certain medications.

IMF joined the Cancer Leadership Council, which is comprised of advocacy and provider groups in sending a letter of opposition to the Administration. To view this letter please CLICK HERE. While the rule has been delayed, we will continue to keep an eye on this situation.
 

Want to get involved?

Interested in learning more or taking actions about our federal and/or state priorities? Email the IMF Advocacy Team, advocacy@myeloma.org, to find out ways you can help and make your voice heard. Find us on the Twitter and Facebook! We will be sharing the latest news on legislation and policies we are tracking. And follow @Chemoparity for updates on our fight to get oral parity passed at the state and federal levels.
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