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Policy Priorities and Principles

Core Principles


In 2021, the Cancer Policy Institute is focusing on:


1. Ensuring that the full patient experience, which provides crucial information about a condition, therapy, or clinical investigation, is captured throughout the clinical process and beyond.

CSC supports the collection, measurement, and communication of patient experience data that includes both the patient’s physical and psychosocial impacts as an essential part of the drug development process and cancer care from diagnosis to survivorship.


2. Examining the use of utilization management (UM) tools that fail to incorporate the patient perspective and may reduce access and affordability to essential care and treatment, as well as impose undue burden on patients and providers.

UM tools such as prior authorization, step therapy, high-deductible health care plans, and copay accumulator adjustment programs should be patient-centered to foster cost-effective, seamless care. CSC supports efforts to curtail the burden of UM techniques on patients.


3. Working to ensure seamless and equitable access to comprehensive cancer care before, during, and after times of public emergencies.

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed increased risks and burdens on cancer patients and survivors and has illuminated existing disparities in our health care system. CSC is committed to working with policy makers at the federal and state level to ensure seamless and equitable access to comprehensive cancer care, including mental health, during the pandemic and beyond.  


4. Eliminating health disparities and creating equity in systems across the cancer continuum.

Health equity is a driving force in all policy considerations and decisions at CSC. Health disparities can only meaningfully be addressed when all individuals have access to, and can afford, health care insurance and services. CSC is committed to supporting efforts to advance health equity.

CSC’s Legislative and Regulatory Priorities


Access and Affordability of Health Care

Support and advocate for policies at the federal and state level that improve access to and affordability of comprehensive, high-quality health care coverage; preserve patient protections; increase access to early detection screening and life-saving treatments and therapies for cancer patients and survivors; and extend flexibilities in telehealth and tele-mental services to ensure patients continue to have safe access to health care services. We encourage the advancement of measures that increase access and lower patients’ prescription drug costs, preserve the 6 protected classes, and cap patient out of pocket costs under Medicare Part D.


Cancer Research and Drug Development

Support policies that advance innovative and improved treatment through collaborative engagement with the Administration, Congress, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Cancer Institute (NCI), sponsors, providers, and patient advocacy organizations to augment funding for cancer research, broaden clinical trial eligibility criteria that is evidence-based, ensure equitable access to clinical trials to reflect diverse populations, and incorporate real-world data to better inform post-market surveillance.


Cancer Screening and Early Detection

Support the creation of a new coverage pathway in Medicare to allow for beneficiaries to access multi-cancer early detection screening tests through passage of the Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act, which would ensure beneficiaries have coverage for new, breakthrough screening technologies that detect cancer at earlier stages. We also support federal cancer prevention and screening initiatives, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) cancer programs, that provide key resources to states and communities to prevent and control cancer, especially among those communities disproportionately affected.


Copay Accumulator Adjustment Programs

Support state legislation that bans copay accumulator adjustment programs that prohibit manufacturer copay assistance from being applied toward a patient’s annual deductible and/or maximum out-of-pocket cost sharing. 


Diagnostic Testing Reform

Support efforts, including the Verifying Accurate and Leading-edge IVCT Development (VALID) Act, to increase patient confidence in the validity and accuracy of diagnostic tests by expanding FDA oversight to include tests developed internally by clinical laboratories.   


Oral Parity

Advance both federal and state efforts, including the Cancer Drug Parity Act, to provide coverage for oral chemotherapy drugs with the same out-of-pocket cost sharing as chemotherapy drugs administered intravenously by a physician.


Patient-Centered Oncology Care

Support legislative and regulatory efforts through collaborative engagement with the FDA, NCI, and National Institutes of Health (NIH) that keep patient preferences and priorities at the center of cancer care — encompassing diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and palliative and hospice care.


Step Therapy Reform

Advance efforts to improve step therapy protocols and ensure patients are able to safely and efficiently access the best treatments. Support the passage of state and federal bills related to step therapy, including the Safe Step Act.


Value-based Care

Support efforts that incorporate the inclusion of the patient voice into value-based policies that impact the daily lives of patients, survivors, and their loved ones. As value-based care is implemented in the health care sector to deliver high-quality care that is also more cost-effective, CSC is committed to ensuring the voice of the patient has an integral role in the discussion and determination of value. We support non-discriminatory policies that utilize transparent, patient-centered tools that identify and incorporate patient perspectives in determining the value of new treatments.


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