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June 5, 2002
S. Printed 6/5/02--H.
Read the first time June 4, 2002.
To whom was referred a Concurrent Resolution (S. 1318) memorializing the Congress of the United States to take immediate action by adopting the "Access to Cancer Therapies Act of 2001" (H.R. 1624; S.913), etc., respectfully
That they have duly and carefully considered the same and recommend that the same do pass:
RONALD N. FLEMING for Committee.
MEMORIALIZING THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES TO TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION BY ADOPTING THE "ACCESS TO CANCER THERAPIES ACT OF 2001" (H.R. 1624; S.913) WHICH WILL PROVIDE MEDICARE COVERAGE FOR ALL ORAL ANTI-CANCER DRUGS.
Whereas, cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the State of South Carolina and throughout the nation; and
Whereas, cancer is disproportionately a disease of the elderly, with more than half of all cancer diagnoses occurring in persons age sixty-five or older, who are thus dependent on the federal Medicare program for provision of cancer care; and
Whereas, treatment with anti-cancer drugs is the cornerstone of modern cancer care, elderly cancer patients must have access to potentially life-extending drug therapy, but the Medicare program's coverage of drugs is limited to injectable drugs or oral drugs that have an injectable version; and
Whereas, the nation's investment in biomedical research has begun to bear fruit with a compelling array of new oral anti-cancer drugs that are less toxic, more effective, and more cost-effective than existing therapies, but, because such drugs do not have an injectable equivalent, they are not covered by Medicare; and
Whereas, non-coverage of these important new products leaves many Medicare beneficiaries confronting the choice of either substantial out-of-pocket personal costs or selection of more toxic, less effective treatments that are covered by the program; and
Whereas, Medicare's failure to cover oral anti-cancer drugs leaves at risk many beneficiaries suffering from blood-related cancers like leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, as well as cancers of the breast, lung, and prostrate; and
Whereas, the members of the General Assembly of the State South Carolina urge the Congress of the United States to address the problems arising for Medicare cancer patients, particularly the elderly, by ratifying the "Access to Cancer Therapies Act of 2001". Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring:
That the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina hereby memorializes the Congress of the United States to take immediate action by adopting the "Access to Cancer Therapies Act of 2001" (H.R. 1624; S.913) which will provide Medicare coverage for all oral anti-cancer drugs.
Be it further resolved that copies of this resolution be distributed to the members of the Congress of the United States and the President of the United States.
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