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Advocacy Update
March 2016
03.01.16
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President Obama Releases His Official Budget Request for FY17

On February 9th, President Obama released his budget request for the 2017 fiscal year, which will run from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017.

In his official request, which you can view here, President Obama asked that $33.1 billion be appropriated to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This is an increase of $1 billion, or 3.2% over his FY16 request. This funding will allow for almost 10,000 new grants that will help scientists conduct research that will improve health and save lives. Almost $6 billion of this will go specifically to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Of the $33.1 billion, $300 million was allocated for the Precision Medicine Initiative that was launched last year to accelerate research into the development of treatments that are tailored to specific individuals. The initiative has many goals, including the establishment of a voluntary research database of one million Americans, expansion of research into cancer subtypes and identifying new therapy targets.

Another $680 million from the NIH's budget will be combined with $75 million from the Food and Drug Administration's budget to go towards the President's Moon Shot Initiative to cure cancer, which he announced in his State of the Union Address last month. The initiative aims to accelerate progress in preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer through investments in research, infrastructure and by bringing together researchers across different sectors and scientific backgrounds. There are not a lot of available details about the initiative, but as they come to light we will be sure to share them with you!

Educational Resources

Affordable Care Act FAQ

Medicare and the Affordable Care Act

Multiple Myeloma Insurance Questionnaire

Update: State Legislative Efforts

The IMF's State Patients Equal Access Coalition (SPEAC) has been hard at work in several states this year, working to pass oral parity legislation. There has been movement on the legislation in recent weeks in Alaska, Michigan, Tennessee, and Alabama.. The Alaska legislation, HB 142, unanimously passed out of the Labor and Commerce Committee, where it will be heard by the full senate in the coming weeks. In Michigan, SB 625, has been heard by the insurance committee for an initial reading; however, no vote has been taken as of yet. Tennessee's SB 2091, received its first hearing with the Commerce and Labor Committee, but it has also not had a vote to move it to the full floor. Finally, Alabama's bill, HB 86, has been referred to the Insurance committee, awaiting a hearing date. As always, the Advocacy team will keep you informed on developments on each of the states as they occur.

Take Action on Federal Legislation

Support Oral Parity in the Senate

Support Oral Parity in the House 

Part D Beneficiary Appeals Fairness Act

Increase NIH Funding

Support National Myeloma Awareness Month 

Update: Federal Legislative Efforts

The Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act is still advancing in both the House and the Senate. The House bill, HR 2739, currently sits at 45 cosponsors, evenly split between both republican and democratic parties. In the Senate, S 1566 has 8 sponsors, which is a very strong show of support. The IMF's Patients Equal Access Coalition (PEAC) is pleased with the progress we've had thus far in bringing on support for the federal legislation. Next week, members of the coalition are meeting with members on the hill to discuss additional sponsorship and next steps for the legislation. As more progress is made, the advocacy team will let you know!

Additional Resources

SPEAC

PEAC

Oral Chemo Parity Map

GMAN Member Spotlight: Denmark

Our GMAN (Global Myeloma Action Network) member, Dansk Myelomatose Forening (Denmark) has many events planned for the start of 2016. Several seminars are organized for the 11 network groups of the organization, where patients and their family members discuss living with myeloma, including a spring and fall meeting with network group leaders. On March 12 a general meeting will be held for patients with a special appearance by a very famous actress in Denmark, Søs Egelind, who will speak about how she lives with blood cancer.

Additionally, on April 2nd the group will hold three regional meetings for patients to hear from doctors from various local hospitals about myeloma, the regional protocols for treatment, and other aspects of the disease. Members will meet Henrik Gregersen, Chief Hematologist in the North and nurses from the hospital in Aalborg. In the South, members will hear from Maja Hinge, Hematologist and Ph.D. student. Finally, on Zealand, Carsten Helleberg, Chief Hematologist in Herlev Hospital will talk before dinner and Chief Hematologist Anette Vangsted in the afternoon.

If you would like more information on the IMF's GMAN coalition, please contact Ray Wezik at rwezik@myeloma.org.

Fun Facts!

Today is George Washington's birthday, he would be 284 years old!


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