Last week, I traveled to the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) annual meeting. It’s always an exceptional meeting where the brightest minds in oncology, including researchers, health care providers and industry stakeholders gather to learn about the latest advancements in cancer research and development (R&D).
Here are just some highlights from the 2023 ASCO meeting:
These highlights from ASCO represent just a small glimpse into the broader fight against cancer. Today, there are more than 1,300 medicines and vaccines in development for cancer, all of which are in clinical trials or awaiting review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These potential medicines seek to address the unmet medical needs of patients who lack any treatment option or are not adequately helped by current standards of care.
However, at a time in which we need all of the tools in the toolbox, last year policymakers took a step in the wrong direction by including harmful price setting provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, putting our work to fight cancer in jeopardy and running counter to the President’s Cancer Moonshot goal.
Biopharmaceutical companies are committed to fighting the many diseases that comprise cancer. Given the nature of cancer research and the expansion of therapeutic value over time, the IRA’s drug price setting provisions are projected to have an acute impact on the future of fighting cancers and other diseases. Instead, Congress should make it a priority to fix the pill penalty against small molecule medicines impacted by the IRA and preserve innovation in lifesaving cancer medicines.