International Myeloma Foundation
Advocacy Update | May 2021
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virtual hangout
All Cancers Congress
On May 13th, the IMF’s advocacy team hosted the second annual All Cancers Congress. The purpose of this all-day event was to foster collaboration among cancer advocacy groups on their policy efforts. Each group had an opportunity to present their legislative and advocacy priorities for 2021 with the goal of finding opportunities to work together in the future. While many topics were discussed, issues surrounding increased access to telehealth and health disparities were deliberated upon most heavily.

The All Cancers Congress was founded as a yearly event to bring together these voices; however, the group has been utilized through the COVID pandemic to ensure the voices of cancer patients were being heard on important issues such as vaccine distribution, triaging of care, and telehealth.

We were proud to launch the coalition’s website the event, which you can visit by clicking here. As always, if you have any questions or ideas you would like to discuss with us about this coalition, please reach out to advocacy@myeloma.org.
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House of Representatives Holds Drug Pricing Hearings
Drug pricing issues have been a main focus in Congress this month with both the House Energy and Commerce and the House Education and Labor committees held hearings on the matter.

The drug pricing debates have been very contentious; however, there is one bipartisan provision that could greatly help myeloma patients which has been included in proposals from both political parties: the creation of an out-of-pocket cap for Medicare Part D beneficiaries. This would create a yearly limit on how much a patient would pay for their prescription drugs.

As a result of the current structure of Medicare Part D, many myeloma patients face issues accessing their medications because of their struggle to afford their out-of-pocket expenses. The creation of an out-of-pocket cap would provide certainty to patients because they could predict exactly how much they owe for their medications. Legislative proposals have also including a “smoothing mechanism”, which would distribute the out-of-pocket expenses throughout the year so patients do not face large bills at the start of a calendar year or when beginning treatment. To let your legislators know you are supportive of an out-of-pocket cap. Please click here.
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Senate Confirms President Biden’s Pick to Lead CMS
On May 25, 2021, the Senate confirmed Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to serve as the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in a 55-44 vote. She has extensive experience working in health policy and has overseen both the drafting and implementation of the Affordable Care Act while serving in the Obama Administration and working on Capitol Hill. Brooks-LaSure has built a reputation as a collaborative leader and many stakeholders in the patient advocacy community are optimistic about the changes she may bring to the agency.
 

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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We Thank Our Sponsor:

Bristol-Myers Squibb
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