Patients Rising Launches Multi-Pronged Program to Overcome Policies and Proposals That Limit Access to Medical Treatments

–Will Present Results of New Poll Documenting the Extent to which Insurance Interferes with Patients’ Prescribed Treatments–

–Announces ICER WATCH – an Interactive Online Portal to Keep Patients and Advocates Informed about Proposals that Deny or Restrict Access to Potentially Life-Saving Therapeutics —

— Forum/Webcast Coinciding with Global Cancer Conference in Chicago, Will Bring Together Doctors, Healthcare Economists, Legal Experts and Patients to Assure Continued Access to the Best Treatments Possible–

CHICAGO, IL and WASHINGTON, DC, JUNE 2 2016 –Patients Rising – a non-profit patient advocacy organization – said today it will hold a forum Saturday, June 4th, to detail the dangers of efforts currently underway to limit access to new treatments. A diverse group of patients, oncologists, economists and legal experts will expose barriers to treatments and propose a way forward for patients. The program will include release of a new poll that surveyed patients about negative interactions regarding their health insurance policies including unsustainable co-pays, and treatments that were delayed or denied.  Patients Rising will also announce ICER WATCH, an online portal to track efforts by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review to impose their own definition of value and to influence the availability of new cancer treatments based on cost. The portal will ensure that independent research findings regarding ICER, and the positions of respected academics, professional societies and patient groups are widely available.

The forum will take place in downtown Chicago concurrent with the ASCO cancer conference, Saturday, June 4th, from noon to 2 pm CDT. It will be available for viewing online as a WEBCAST beginning Saturday evening. To attend in person or watch the webcast click here.

“The so-called ‘value-frameworks’ by ICER and others could re-shape the future of healthcare,” says Jonathan Wilcox, co-founder and policy director of Patients Rising. “These frameworks use complicated mathematical formulas to put arbitrary limits on the cost of new treatments. The proposals could potentially harm the health and well-being of the millions of Americans with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.”

Taking part in the webcast will be:

  • Three physicians: Charles Weaver, MD, founder and CEO of CancerConnect.com, who conducted the poll about patients and insurance; Warren Fong, MD, president of the Medical Oncology Association of Southern California; and myeloma expert Rafael Fonseca, MD.
  • Legal and economic experts: Stacey Worthy, Esq, policy director of the Alliance for the Adoption of Innovations in Medicine; Jennifer Hinkel, MSc, cancer survivor and healthcare consultant; Robert Goldberg, PhD, of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest.
  • Marc Davis, Esq, diagnosed with cancer three years ago.

Last week, Patients Rising was in St. Louis where ICER held its Midwest meeting to rate treatments for the blood cancer multiple myeloma. This week, the Patients Rising mission continues in Chicago concurrent with the world’s largest cancer conference, ASCO. Important advances in cancer treatment will be presented, but Patients Rising says the best treatments cannot be effective if they are limited by so-called value-frameworks and other barriers. They say, “Our mission is to call for using all of this brainpower to improve access to life-changing medical advances, and not to deprive patients.”

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