International Myeloma Foundation
Advocacy Update | January 2021
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IMF Comments on Most Favored Nation Model
On January 21, 2020, the International Myeloma Foundation sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) objecting to the Interim Final Rule with Comment Period entitled “Most Favored Nation Model” (MFN). This proposal would tie the prices of Medicare Part B (physician-administered) drugs to those of other countries. While this initially may sound like it would be a good idea that would lower prices, the proposal itself states that the savings would occur because some patients would lose access to their medications. It also acknowledges that patients could be forced to seek care in other settings. Policy experts believe this proposal would adversely impact patients as well as care providers. Many experts also estimate that it could provide only minimal impact in the form of reductions to patients’ out-of-pocket costs. In addition to our individual efforts, IMF joined several group letters explaining the system-wide issues that could occur if this proposal was finalized.

IMF believes myeloma patients could be disproportionately impacted by the MFN model. There are four myeloma-specific drugs included in CMS’ initial list of drugs. Additionally, there are many other drugs included in the model which are used to treat side effects cancer patients may experience. To view the myeloma-specific letter, click here.
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IMF Advocates for Cancer Patient Vaccine Prioritization
On January 26, 2021, the International Myeloma Foundation led a group of cancer advocacy organizations in sending a letter to states regarding COVID-19 vaccine prioritization for cancer patients. Because many cancer patients are especially vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, we want to ensure that patients are prioritized above the general public.

To view more about vaccine recommendations for myeloma patients, click here. To view the letter IMF sent to states, please click here.
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Clinical Trial Accessibility Bills Now Law
Two pieces of legislation were recently signed into law that could improve access to clinical trials, particularly for underserved populations. We are pleased to announce that The CLINICAL TREATMENT Act and the Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act were both bills that you helped advocate for!

The CLINICAL TREATMENT Act was signed into law as part of the large package that went through Congress at the end of last year. This bill will help people covered under Medicaid access trials by requiring all states to cover the routine costs associated with trials.

The Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act was signed into law on January 5, 2021. This bill focuses on improving access to trials for underrepresented populations, such as racial and ethnic minorities and older, rural, and lower-income individuals. Only a small percentage of these populations currently participate in clinical trials and this bill requires a study to be conducted on what barriers are preventing participation in federally-funded trials.

We believe expanding access to clinical trials will help improve care for all patients in the future and we are pleased both bills are now law. Many of you sent letters of support to your Members of Congress on these important bills. We are grateful for your support and advocacy efforts!
 

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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