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In recognition of May as National Cancer Research Month, LCA joined with 95 other organizations dedicated to ending all forms of cancer, to urge lawmakers to continue to make cancer research and biomedical science a national priority and support increased federal investment in the National Institutes of Health. This comes on the heels of LCA’s recent work to pass the landmark Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act of 2013, which requires the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop new scientific frameworks to improve survival rates for lethal cancers, leading first with lung and pancreatic cancers. Because of the steady increase in cancer incidence rates, mainly because of our aging population and the enormous complexity of many cancers, continuing to strengthen our nation’s commitment to cancer research particularly those supported by public funds through NIH will be vital to addressing these challenges and curbing the overall annual costs of this devastating disease – which exceeded $263 billion in 2010.
On another front, Lung Cancer Alliance continues to work with a broad based coalition in Washington on the issues involved in Medicare payments and insurance coverage for molecular testing. Extraordinary advances are being made in developing tests for specific cancer mutations that can then be targeted with therapies that target those mutations. Initial attempts by Medicare to establish how much the government will pay for the tests have been controversial. In calling for full transparency as the price-setting process unfolds, LCA said that not only are lives at stake, but this whole field of research can be negatively affected if the issues is not resolved fairly and equitably.
To read the full letter, click here.