Myeloma Minute - September 30, 2004
- Medicare is on everyone's mind this month:
- Oncologists say Medicare won't cover drug costs
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has estimated an 8 percent average cut in reimbursements for chemotherapy and other medicines. ASCO concluded the reduction would average 15 percent for the 100 practices it surveyed. (from Reuters)
- CMS May Limit Off-Label Coverage For Cancer Drugs To Clinical Trials
"CMS' intent is to develop a model for studies to assess the clinical evidence on off-label uses of drugs...so that the agency will have the necessary information to determine whether Medicare should cover such uses." (from Inside CMS)
- Doxil Coverage for MM
The following states/regions have written Medicare Part B guidelines on DOXIL coverage for MM: Connecticut, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York City, New York Western, Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Mississippi. For more information, go to http://www.doxiline.com/.
- PET Scan Coverage Moving Forward
IMF Advocate Greg Brozeit reports that the head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Mark McClellan, announced that his agency would rule on the coverage of PET scans for myeloma patients by the end of September 2004. McClellan made the statement in response to a question posed by Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL) at a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on September 14, 2004 .
- Applications to Medicare Demonstration Project Far Below Expectations
Fewer patients than expected are taking advantage of the Medicare Sec. 641 Demonstration Project, which would provide substantial savings for thalidomide to myeloma patients with Medicare coverage. The original September 30, 2004 application deadline will now likely be extended in order to give more eligible applicants time to obtain benefits.
- A few tickets are still available for the 14th Anniversary Ribbon of Hope Making A World of Difference Gala on November 6 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Honoring our own Dr. Brian Durie, this promises to be the biggest and best Gala ever. Awards for their dedication to improving the lives of myeloma patients will be given to Karen Talmadge of Kyphon, The Los Angeles MM Support Group, Captain Fred Gloor, and David J. Brown. A beautiful hotel, a gourmet meal, and some of the most awesome auction items ever assembled make for one fabulous night. And the money you pay to have a wonderful time will help the IMF fund its educational and advocacy programs and fund research initiatives. Call 800-452-2873 ext 222 for information.
- Susie Novis and Dr. Durie to speak at Kyphon Meeting in New York on October 15
Topic of the meeting is the "Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Treating Spinal Fractures in the Oncology Patient
(Including a New Minimally Invasive Procedure for Vertebral Compression Fractures)"
- Tour of Hope (October 1-9) Targets Policy Makers
The Lance Armstrong Foundation will be conducting its Tour of Hope cross country bicycle ride to help make cancer research a national priority. You can sign on to the Make the Promise pledge by visiting http://tourofhope.org/promise/index.php. All the signatures will be delivered to the administration and Congress on Saturday, October 9 in Washington , DC . The Lance Armstrong Foundation encourages you to forward information by email and to ask your friends and families to Make the Promise.
- IMFer Sharon Newman's brother, a radio personality in Detroit, auctioned off two tickets to the Ryder Cup golf tournament
--yup, that Ryder cup--to benefit the IMF. They sold for $2,000! Many thanks to Sharon and her brother!
WHAT'S NEW IN RESEARCH
- VELCADE® trials
- THALOMID® trials
- TRISENOX trials
- Phase I study of IGF-1R mAb (other names: CP-571,871; monoclonal antibody to insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor)
Indication: relapsed and refractory MM
Sites: Mayo Rochester; Moffitt Cancer Center-University of South Florida, Tampa.
For more information, the Myeloma Matrix has a current list of all myeloma trials from pre-clinical to recently FDA approved. If you would like to browse trials currently open for enrollment, visit the Clinical Trials page of the IMF web site. Among the links, you will find CenterWatch and EmergingMed. The IMF has entered into partnerships with them to assist you in matching trials to your particular patient profile (i.e., stage of disease, previous treatment, how well you are able to carry out the activities of daily living, etc.) and by doing so, increase your chances of being eligible. You can also learn more about clinical trials by reviewing materials from the National Cancer Institute.
It's not too late to register for the Teaneck, NJ Patient and Family Seminar, October 8-9.
If what you are looking for is reliable information from recognized experts, combined with the support you can only get by sharing the weekend with others who are going through the same thing you are, then look no further. The IMF's Patient and Family Seminars are what you need. So call 800-452-2873 ext 226 to register by October 7. We look forward to seeing you there.
If you live near any these local fundraisers, why not go on over? They are always fun, and the money raised helps the IMF help others.
FUNdraising Made Easy
Suzanne Battaglia can help you plan your fundraiser, so please write, call or email (SBattaglia@myeloma.org) so that you can get on our Calendar of Events!
ITEMS OF INTEREST
BE PART OF THE CURE!
Many of the internet's most popular merchants will donate a portion of your purchases to the IMF if you enter their sites using the links on our Shop For The IMF page. So, Be Part of the Cure by using these links to get the same great service and low prices you're used to while helping support the IMF!
Help Us Help Others...
As a non-profit organization, the IMF is completely dependent on the support of our members. Tax-deductible donations in honor of a friend or family member make great gifts and are a wonderful way to celebrate a special occasion. You can donate online or by calling the IMF at (800) 452-CURE. We sincerely thank you for your support.
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