Advocacy

FORCE advocates for families facing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer in areas such as access to care, research funding, insurance, and privacy.

Advocacy > Advocacy Issues

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Newsflash

5/9/18
We joined 80 patient advocacy, medical, and industry orgs in urging Congress to enact legislation to modernize FDA oversight of clinical laboratory diagnostics. Read letter...

4/17/18
FORCE and over 100 patient and professional health orgs reached out to Congressional leaders to oppose expansion of short-term health insurance plans. Read letter...

4/12/18
FDA finalizes guidances to accelerate development of reliable, beneficial next generation sequencing-based tests. Read press release...

4/9/2018
FORCE joined other organizations in urging Utah to clarify and protect coverage of breast reconstruction after cancer for its Medicaid recipients. Read more...

2/27/2018
FORCE, along with over 100 other organizations, is advocating for continued funding of DoD research programs. Read our letter to Congressional leaders.

 

Therapies & Drug Development

FORCE is at the forefront of research and development of therapies for the treatment or prevention of cancers in people affected hereditary cancer. Our organization is active in research advocacy, clinical trial recruitment, drug review and approval, etc. with partners including government agencies, academia and private industry. Our goal is to ensure access to a range of effective treatments for people of every stage and type of hereditary cancer.

Treatments & Therapies

Medicare Establishes National Policy for Coverage of Tumor Testing

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently finalized a National Coverage Determination (NCD) to provide Medicare beneficiaries with coverage of FDA-approved or -cleared tests that help identify cancer treatment options. These tests, also known as companion diagnostics, examine a person’s tumor or blood to see which targeted medications may be most effective for treating their cancer. The new policy applies specifically to patients with advanced cancer.

Treatments & Therapies

Federal "Right to Try" Legislation Aims to Increase Access

Federal right-to-try legislation aimed at loosening oversight of access to unapproved drugs for "compassionate use" is gaining momentum on Capitol Hill. Bills proposed in the House and Senate would allow patients with cancer or other serious illnesses to circumvent the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when requesting access to experimental therapies not yet approved for public use. The House of Representatives approved a right-to-try bill on March 21, 2018. Now the Senate must align its version of the legislation with the House and vote on the bill. 

Insurance Coverage & Barriers

FORCE Supports Chemotherapy Parity Initiatives

Oral chemotherapy is becoming the standard of care for many types of cancer and accounts for about a third of the oncology development pipeline. Importantly, many oral anti-cancer medications do not have IV or injected alternatives, and are the only option for some patients. PARP inhibitors, which hold great promise for treating BRCA-related cancers, are just one example. For this reason, these medications must be as affordable as their IV counterparts. FORCE is supporting the Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act of 2017, a national legislative initiative which strives to create equal insurance coverage cancer treatments, regardless of how they are administered.

Treatments & Therapies

Cancer Research Funding Preserved

Federal funding for cancer research has led to significant advances in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life for patients. More than 14 million U.S. cancer survivors are alive today, largely because of the nation’s commitment to cancer research. The main sources of U.S. cancer research funding are the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which includes the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the Department of Defense (DoD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP). FORCE was involved in recent efforts to preserve or increase funding for these crucial programs. 

Treatments & Therapies

ICER Review of PARP Inhibitors for Ovarian Cancer

In July 2017, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) released a draft evidence report titled, “Poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) Inhibitors for Ovarian Cancer: Effectiveness and Value.” FORCE expressed significant concerns about the report's conclusions via written comments and testified at the Midwest CEPAC meeting on September 14, 2017. ICER released its final report later that month. Despite our efforts and those of many others, the final report does not reflect the value of PARP inhibitors to the broader ovarian cancer community, or to the hereditary cancer community we serve. 

Treatments & Therapies

Cancer Moonshot

In his final State of the Union address in 2016, President Obama tasked Vice President Biden with heading up a new national effort, the Cancer Moonshot. The ultimate goal of Moonshot is to double the rate of progress—to make a decade's worth of advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care in five years—to ultimately end cancer as we know it. FORCE is proud to be engaged in the Moonshot initiative via the ABOUT Network, the only cancer-focused patient-powered research network in PCORnet. 

Treatments & Therapies

FDA Approval of Lynparza: A Win for the HBOC Community

On December 19, 2014, the FDA announced approval of Lynparza (also known as olaparib) for women with BRCA mutations who have ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer, and who have received three or more chemotherapy treatments. FORCE has been a strong advocate for PARP inhibitor research and targeted therapies for nearly a decade. This is the first FDA-approved PARP inhibitor, and it is a great win for the BRCA community. 

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