May 12, 2020
ASTRO has joined 76 organizations representing patients, researchers, physicians, survivors, and their families, in signing a letter to congressional leadership regarding proposals from Title IV of the 21st Century Cures 2.0 concept paper recently released by Representatives Diana DeGette and Fred Upton. The organizations urge Congress to include the proposed clinical trial policies in future legislation aimed at further addressing the COVID-19 public health crisis. They note that the policies are bipartisan, well vetted, and broadly supported, leaving no reason for delay.
The COVID-19 public health crisis has highlighted the disparities in America’s health care system and the importance of diversity within clinical trials to ensuring widespread patient access to high-quality care. Therefore, the organizations specifically urge leadership to include policy in line with the CLINICAL TREATMENT Act (H.R. 913). The proposed bill looks to provide Medicaid coverage of the routine care costs of clinical trial participation for patients with life-threatening conditions. Clinical trials often provide different treatment options for those with life-threatening conditions. By removing barriers to trial enrollment, such as coverage of routine care costs, Congress can help guarantee high-quality treatment for these patients and the inclusion of diverse populations in clinical trials.