CMS vs the Compassionate Access Act

July 28, 2010

Medicare is now questioning whether the government should pay for new therapy's such as Provenge. The CMS decision is just as important to the biopharmaceutical industry, doctors, and their patients as it is to Dendreon. H. R. 4732, The Compassionate Access Act, calls to give access to novel drugs;will CMS serve as a roadblock?

Medicare is now questioning whether the government should pay for new therapy's such as Provenge. The CMS decision is just as important to the biopharmaceutical industry, doctors, and their patients as it is to Dendreon.H. R. 4732, The Compassionate Access Act calls to give access to novel drugs;will CMS serve as a roadblock?

With all that has been going on regarding healthcare in America, it is essential that we continue to remind our Congressmen that saving and extending lives through the Compassionate Access Act is important.

Below is a summary of this important piece of legislation:

• Access, Compassion, Care, and Ethics for Seriously Ill Patients Act or the ACCESS Act – Amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to permit an investigational drug, biological product, or device to be made available for expanded access under a treatment investigational new drug application or treatment investigational device exemption if specified Compassionate Investigational Access requirements are met.
 

• Gives immunity to the manufacturer, distributor, administrator, sponsor, or physician from suit or liability relating to products approved under this Act. Establishes a procedure for accelerated approval of an investigational drug, biological product, or device that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit to a patient suffering from a serious or life-threatening condition.
 

• Requires the Secretary to establish:
(1) the Accelerated Approval Advisory Committee;
(2) a new program to expand access to investigational treatments for individuals with serious or life threatening conditions and diseases; and
(3) a demonstration project under the Medicare program to pay for drugs, biological, products, and devices approved under this Act.
 

• Amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to revise the definition of “medically accepted indication” to provide for coverage of a covered Part D drug based on the sponsor’s or organization’s determination that the drug is for a medically accepted indication.
 

• Requires the Secretary to consider the clinical judgment and risks to the patient from the disease or condition in evaluating the safety and effectiveness of drugs, biological products, and devices that treat serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions, including the evaluation of nonstatistical information.
 

• Requires any committee evaluating investigational drugs, devices, or biological product applications to have at least two patient representatives as voting members.
 

The full text of the Compassionate Access Act can be read here: abigail-alliance.org/S_3046_ACCESS_Act.pdf
 

Write your Congressman - find your Congressmen here and send an electronic message urging them to support the Compassionate Access Act (S.3046, H.R.6270) .
 

Support the Alliance on Facebook - Join the Abigail Alliance Cause on Facebook and help drum up support through social networking!