Petition to Brian Ternan, Joseph Swedish, John E. Gallina, Gloria McCarthy, Dr. Craig E. Samitt, Sally Kweskin, Jill Becher, Anthem Board of Directors
Anthem Blue Cross: Approve Claim For Life-Saving Drug To Help Our Friend Susan Beat Cancer
For the past year, our amazing friend, Susan Weingartner, has been doing an incredible job beating stage 4 lung cancer. But the medication she was on that was melting away her tumors stopped working and Anthem Blue Cross has denied her doctor's claim 3 times in the 2 weeks in June 2017 for another drug, Tagrisso, that her oncologist has prescribed. Please sign our petition to help our friend, Susan- a loving mother, daughter, sister, friend and colleague to so many. This is a matter of life and death and we need Anthem Blue Cross to listen and approve this medication for Susan! She has been without cancer fighting medication for weeks while she and her doctor appeal her case. This drug costs thousands of dollars a month and she can't afford it without Anthem Blue Cross covering it. Anthem refuses to recognize the professional advice of Susan's doctor -- it's outrageous.Tagrisso is the best drug for her to be taking based on the genetic testing that Susan's renowned lung cancer oncologist prescribed, after running some very meticulous blood tests through a highly regarded lab in Boston. Her doctor spent an hour on the phone with Anthem and figured out that the people making the decision at Anthem have no medical background, while her doctor is an expert and knows exactly what Susan needs to beat her cancer! Anthem is claiming that this drug is "non formulary" even though it is listed on their approved drugs list! They are insisting that she try and fail on another drug with worse side effects that won't target her specific gene mutation before she can have access to Tagrisso- how ludicrous is that? Anthem Blue Cross's website claims that "The American Cancer Society has honored Anthem and our CEO as a Gold Standard employer for our efforts toward cancer prevention, detection and quality care." If that is true, they need to approve Tagrisso for Susan! Anthem Blue Cross makes $82 BILLION in annual revenue so they can afford to take care of their customers who need life saving drugs! Anthem Blue cross claims to deliver "exceptional, personalized service"..."with a focus on improving patient outcomes and delivering value-based care." So let's see it Anthem. Put people like Susan over profits and give her the medicine she needs to live! No one should have to endure this type of stress and treatment while trying to beat cancer! Please help Susan! Please sign and share so that the powers that be at Anthem Blue Cross will give her access to this life saving medication ASAP that can stop her cancer!
Petition to Dianne Feinstein, Kamala Harris, Ray Leclerc, Jerry Brown, Boeing, Senator Henry Stern
No more kids with cancer: clean up the Santa Susana Field Lab
When my daughter Grace Ellen was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer, at age four, I thought that our family had the worst, most devastating luck. But after spending months in the hospital with her, we learned that she was one of 50 children who may have been poisoned by one of the worst nuclear meltdowns in America. Sign to demand that the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) safely and completely clean the Santa Susana Field Lab and prevent any more children from getting cancer. Grace Ellen’s form of cancer is incredibly aggressive. At age four she was put on several clinical trials, had ten times the normal amount of chemotherapy, and spent two years fighting her cancer. A year and a half later her cancer came back. Today she’s inpatient again, having finished more radiation and intense chemotherapy, and is healing from a bone marrow transplant. She’s addicted to morphine, unable to eat or drink, and is fighting for her life in the hospital isolation floor. It haunts me to know her cancer might have been avoidable. She, like the other 49 children, grew up within 20 miles the Santa Susana Field Lab, land which was developed in the 1940s to conduct nuclear research. In 1959 an uncontained partial meltdown of a sodium reactor caused such a devastating radiation leak that many consider it to be the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history –and it was completely covered up for years. Our community has up to 60% higher cancer rates, we have decades of EPA reports to prove it. But the Boeing Company, who partially owns the site, is proposing that the land be open to families for recreational use, even while the disaster has still not been cleaned up. It is the Department of Toxic Substance Control’s job to clean up this mess, but they aren’t taking any meaningful action. Instead they released an Environmental Impact Report that proposes to leave vast amounts of the radioactive and carcinogenic waste on site permanently. They know our children are sick and dying, but Boeing doesn't care. They care about stockholders and profits more than people, and the government isn’t doing anything to stop them. I will protect my children even if I have to tear down mountains with my bare hands – and I am one of many parents fighting for our kids. To win this, we need #1millionparents standing with us to demand that DTSC clean up this disaster once and for all. Will you join us?
Petition to United States Congress
Support "Cancer Relief Bill" proposed legislation
Updated "Cancer Relief Bill", proposed legislation. July 22, 2016 Introduction: There is a very common and tragic phenomenon for those diagnosed with cancer; families are losing their jobs, possessions, and even their homes because of this insidious disease. Even with insurance, copays are devastating. If you are eligible for Medicaid, your medical costs may be covered but the loss of income due to treatment cost you everything else. Middle income families are hard hit because they are not eligible for existing assistance. The financial burden of cancer turns their household budgets upside down; there is simply no room for hundreds or thousands of dollars per month in copays and other related medical costs. Every state and county is different with what assistance may be available, and most run on limited donations. Federal help such as Disability is also not consistent; some being approved in a timely fashion and some later stage patients waiting more than a year for approval; some stage IV patients denied up to four times for what should be automatic approval for disability. Large charity organizations (only a few actually offer monetary assistance) have stipulations that many patients do not fit into. Even larger organizations like The American Cancer Society do not offer monetary assistance; rather, they concentrate on awareness and research. What is left is a large gaping hole of devastation that a majority of cancer patients are falling into. Employers aren't allowed to fire an employee because of an illness, yet many continually find ways to let them go during treatment. Many even lay off the spouse of a cancer patient, to avoid the predicted group policy changes. Most patients do not have a savings account or a financial support system to rely on. If you receive state benefits, any money that is gifted to you from a fundraising page is counted against your benefits. If you don't know to report the monetary gifts as income, you are charged with welfare fraud. Existing programs need reform, new programs need to be in place, and relief needs to happen for the victims of a disease that kills 596,000 people a year in the United States. You should not find yourself homeless while fighting for your life, due to an illness you had no choice in. You should not have to choose between life saving medications and procedures, or the electric bill. The following set of proposals will not only save thousands of lives, but will save thousands of families from complete financial devastation. 15 Proposals to become the "Cancer Relief Bill": 1. A mandatory patient navigator or caseworker in every hospital and oncology facility who will be trained to help a patient apply for Disability, SSI, and will be familiar with all resources available through cancer treatment and beyond. Most household finances fall apart after treatment; most organizations only help during active treatment. Patients aren't informed of any resources available, and many are too sick to search and apply. 2. Instant and expedited Disability approval for stage 4 cancer patients. Instant approval for stage 3 with rechecks every 6 months to see if the patient is physically able to return to work. If they are permanently disabled, then they will not have to wait years for approval. Stages 1 and 2: Careful consideration of the long term disabling affects of surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. Consideration of recurring cancer cases and their survival statistics. No redetermination on Stage 4; right now, if a person is NED for any length of time, Disability has been known to be stopped. Stage 4 is terminal, incurable, resulting in death. Medicare is needed to stay alive as long as possible. 3. Lower the eligibility age of the Reverse Mortgage Program for cancer patients. This will allow them to stay in their home and free up funds towards medical and living expenses. 4. Mortgage Assistance: Modify existing HUD mortgage programs including Forbearance and Loan Forgiveness to include special expediting for cancer patients. Create a program for refinancing options that takes into consideration the credit rating of a patient who has lost income or is heavily underwater due to medical bills from a life threatening illness. Create a program where four months of mortgage payments can be either forgiven, or added to the end of the loan. 5. Job training or scholarships, similar to those already in the ACA, for patients who have lost their jobs due to cancer/treatment. 6. Minimum Disability amount for those too young to have earned their points, and those who have stayed home to raise their children. 7. Immediate Medicare and Medicaid benefits, including Food Stamps, to those diagnosed with cancer. A transition benefit coverage for when the patient is able to return to work for a certain length of time. 8. Expediting testing and genetic testing that will affect treatment options. For example: The BRCA1 test results currently come back after a woman has had her surgery. If she chose lumpectomy and afterward is determined to be BRCA1+, she will end up with two surgeries (additional mastectomy) which is severe physically and financially. 9. Hospitals and Oncology facilities must accept reasonable minimum payment, and cannot deny cancer treatment due to the patient being unable to pay or having insufficient insurance. Many lives are lost because life saving treatment and medications are denied. Hospitals and Oncology facilities must provide treatment and surgery to patients who are considered homeless. They do not right now, as they claim the patient must have an address to convalesce to. 10. Special consideration of low credit scores due to loss of income and illness from cancer. Credit scores are used now for employment, housing, and car insurance; A catastrophic event like a life threatening illness should not condemn you to unemployment status, homelessness, or inflated rates. You are already in urgent financial hardship and are trying to rebuild your life. A previous eviction, proven to be due to the financial toll of cancer, should not count against you when you are applying towards new housing. 11. Rent Assistance: Special rent subsidies or vouchers for 4 months or longer for a cancer diagnosis; expanding on the HUD rent assistance programs. Also, the government must fund the HUD programs properly. In certain states, the Section 8 Voucher program has a 7 year waiting list to apply. Most states have at least a 2 year wait. A cancer patient does not have that time, and cannot fight for their lives if they and their family become homeless due to loss of income. 12. A National online prescription availability. For example: Walgreens has a $20 prescription card that saves hundreds of dollars towards expensive medications. A federal program that duplicates that, or allowing an existing business to provide that service for those who are not located near to them. 13. Tightening up on employers who do not work with a cancer patient during treatment. This is the number one source of financial ruin for most families facing cancer: They or their spouse losing their income due to debilitating treatment. Possibly, a government grant to the employer that will hold the patient's job, or a tax credit. 14. Hospice in every county of every state, always covered by Medicaid. 15. Finally, in order to help fund the changes and additions to assistance for cancer patients: An option on the Federal tax return to donate towards "Cancer Relief". It will be subtracted from the tax refund or added to the amount needing to be paid in; similar to what State income tax returns offer. In closing: Cancer now affects one in every three Americans. It is the second leading cause of death in the United States; a close second behind Heart Disease. According to the American Cancer Society, there will be nearly 1,685,000 new cancer diagnosis' in 2016. Cancer financially devastates a large portion of the population who are diagnosed. It is certain to have an impact on our economy when hundreds of thousands are forced into being unemployed, or even left homeless due to an event that was not of their choice. Cancer patients and survivors are not looking for a handout; they are looking for a chance to heal and continue on with their lives. Late stage cancer patents are only wanting to fight for their lives without losing everything they have worked for. Please help us to make a change. There are several studies now that indicate the financial toxicity of cancer raises morbidity. Below, Fred Hutchinson Research Institute reveals terrifying statistics on the bankruptcy rates being 2.5 more for cancer patients, and that the death rate is up to 80% higher for a cancer patient who goes through bankruptcy. HICOR Study Links Financial Toll to Higher Death Rate in Cancer Patients Please help us to reveal the truth and provide support that can save lives. Tina Peterson Pirlot, Triple Negative breast cancer survivor Author of the "Cancer Relief Bill", proposed legislation. Michigan Patricia Wetzel, cancer survivor Advisor and supporter of the "Cancer Relief Bill", proposed legislation. Founder of The Anti-cancer Club Nevada Beth Caldwell Stage IV breast cancer Founder of MetUp, a metastatic breast cancer organization Seattle, Washington *********************************************************************** "Cancer Relief Bill", proposed legislation; First Draft, 2015 Introduction: I am a cancer survivor of Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I discovered support in online Facebook groups which immensely helped me through my journey. Literally thousands of women, like me, coming together for the sole purpose of getting and giving support through the most feared experience possible: Cancer. After more than a year of absorbing women's stories, I noticed there was a very common and tragic phenomenon; families were losing their jobs, possessions, and even their homes because of cancer. Even with insurance, copays were devastating. If you were eligible for Medicaid, your medical costs may be covered but the loss of income due to treatment cost you everything else. Middle income families are hard hit because they are not eligible for existing assistance; the financial burden of cancer turned their household budgets upside down. There was simply no room for hundreds or thousands of dollars per month in copays and other related medical costs. Every state and county is different with what assistance may be available, and most run on donations. Federal help such as Disability is also not consistent; some being approved in a timely fashion and some later stage women waiting more than a year for approval. Large charity organizations such as "The Pink Fund" and the "Catherine Fund" (only a few actually offer monetary assistance) have stipulations that some women do not fit into. Even larger organizations like Komen and The American Cancer Society do not offer monetary assistance; rather, they concentrate on awareness and research. What is left is a large gaping hole of devastation that a majority of cancer patients are falling into. Employers aren't allowed to fire an employee because of an illness, yet many continually find ways to let them go during treatment. Most patients do not have a savings account or a financial support system to rely on. Existing programs need reform, new programs need to be in place, and relief needs to happen for the victims of a disease that kills 589,000 people a year in the United States. You should not find yourself homeless while fighting for your life, due to an illness you had no choice in. You should not have to choose between life saving medications and procedures or the electric bill. 15 Proposals to become the "Cancer Relief Bill": 1. A mandatory nurse navigator or caseworker in every hospital and oncology office who will be trained to help a patient apply for Disability, SSI, and will be familiar with all resources available through cancer treatment and beyond. Most household finances fall apart after treatment; most organizations only help during active treatment. 2. Instant and expedited Disability approval for stage 4 cancer patients. Instant approval for stage 3 with rechecks every 6 months to see if the patient is physically able to return to work. If they are permanently disabled, then they will not have to wait years for approval. Stages 1 and 2: Careful consideration of the long term disabling affects of surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. Consideration of recurring cancer cases and their survival statistics. 3. Lower the eligibility age of the Reverse Mortgage Program for cancer patients. This will allow them to stay in their home and free up funds towards medical and living expenses. 4. Modify existing HUD mortgage programs including Forbearance and Loan Forgiveness to include special expediting for cancer patients. Create a program for refinancing options that takes into consideration the credit rating of a patient who has lost income or is heavily underwater due to medical bills. 5. Job training or scholarships, similar to those already in the ACA, for patients who have lost their jobs due to cancer/treatment. 6. Minimum Disability amount for those too young to have earned their points, and those who have stayed home to raise their children. 7. Immediate Medicare and Medicaid for those eligible. Perhaps raising the income eligibility level for those with life threatening illnesses for Medicaid. 8. Expediting testing and genetic testing that will affect treatment options. For example: The BRCA1 test results currently come back after a woman has had her surgery. If she chose lumpectomy and afterward is determined to be BRCA1+, she will end up with two surgeries (additional mastectomy) which is severe physically and financially. 9. Hospitals and Oncology services must accept reasonable minimum payment. If a patient's bill goes to collections, it hurts both the hospital and the patient. 10. Special consideration of low credit scores due to loss of income and illness from cancer. Credit scores are used now for employment, housing, and car insurance; A catastrophic event like a life threatening illness should not condemn you to unemployment status, homelessness, or inflated rates. You are already in urgent financial hardship and are trying to rebuild your life. 11. Special rent or mortgage subsidies for a certain amount of time due to catastrophic illness; Expanding on the HUD rent assistance programs. 12. A National online prescription availability. For example: Walgreens has a $20 prescription card that saves hundreds of dollars towards expensive medications. A federal program that duplicates that, or allowing an existing business to provide that service for those who are not located near to them. 13. Tightening up on employers who do not work with a cancer patient during treatment. This is the number one source of financial ruin for most families facing cancer: Losing their income due to treatment. Possibly, a government grant to the employer that will hold the patient's job, or a tax credit. 14. Hospice in every county of every state. 15. Finally, in order to help fund the changes and additions to assistance for cancer patients: An option on the Federal tax return to donate towards "Cancer Relief". It will be subtracted from the tax refund or added to the amount needing to be paid in; similar to what State income tax returns offer. In closing: Cancer now affects one in every three Americans. It is the second leading cause of death in the United States; a close second behind Heart Disease. According to the American Cancer Society, there will be nearly 1,680,000 new cancer diagnosis' in 2015. With over a year's worth of absorbing just one type of cancer's effect on families, I can say without hesitation; cancer, in any form, financially devastates a large portion of the population who are diagnosed. That must have an impact on our economy when hundreds of thousands are forced into being unemployed or even left homeless due to an event that was not of their choice. Cancer patients and survivors are not looking for a handout; they are looking for a chance to heal and continue on with their lives. Late stage cancer patents are only wanting to fight for their lives without losing everything they have worked for. Thank you very much for your time. Please help us to make a change. Sincerely, Tina Peterson Pirlot Michigan
Petition to Secretary of Health and Human Services, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, President of the United States
Protest High Cancer Drug Prices so all Patients with Cancer have Access to Affordable Drugs to Save their Lives
A. Background• Cancer drug prices are increasing at an alarming rate (1), which is causing harm to patients. • Prices have increased more than tenfold (2) between 2000 (average price $5,000-$10,000 per year) and today (average price of new cancer drugs exceeds $120,000 per year). • The average price of cancer drugs is increasing by about $8,500 (3,4) a year. The average household income today for a family of four is $52,000, down 8% from a decade ago (5). • Even patients with insurance have out-of-pocket expenses of 20-25% (6). Since each American has a 1 of 3 lifetime chance of developing cancer, every one of us is at risk of being unable to pay for the prescription medicines that will control and cure our cancer.• This could force many families to decide whether to pay $25,000 a year for one cancer drug, about half the household income, or forgo the treatment to save the money for other necessities. • The high price of cancer drugs is causing harm (7) by shortening the lives of patients who cannot afford the treatment. This is an injustice (8) that creates differential treatment conditioned by financial status. B. PetitionWe request that our President, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), and all Members of the United States Congress, consider our petition and protest against high cancer drug prices by implementing the following strategies: 1) Allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices by removing all current legal restrictions. Allow Medicare to have the same right to negotiate drug prices as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs now enjoys; 2) Allow the importation of cancer drugs across U.S. borders, for personal use. Prices in Canada are sometimes close to fifty percent less than what we pay for the exact same cancer drugs in the United States; 3) Enact and sign into law, new federal legislation that prevents drug companies from delaying access to generic drugs (“Pay-for-Delay”) and extending the life of drug patents (Patent “Evergreening”); 4) Create a post FDA drug approval mechanism/organization/group/ concerned parties (that include the strong voice of patients and their advocates) to estimate/propose a fair price for the new treatment, based on its value to patients and health care; 5) Allow organizations such as the PCORI – the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (nonprofit, nongovernmental organization located in Washington, DC. created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) to include drug prices in their assessments of the value of drugs and treatments; 6) Request nonprofit organizations that represent cancer specialists and their patients - such as ASCO, ASH, ACS, LLS, and NCCN - develop guidelines to incorporate prices of drugs relative to treatment value. C. Conclusion• In the United States, all cancer patients must have immediate access to affordable prescription drugs in order to save their lives. • We believe the measures as outlined above, will allow market forces to work in favor of lower cancer drug prices. This will provide all cancer patients with equal access to the best treatments now available. • We believe the measures as outlined above, will be fair to both the cancer patient and to pharmaceutical companies. • This is Justice. References 1. Kantarjian H, Rajkumar SV. Why Are Cancer Drugs So Expensive in the United States, and What Are the Solutions? Mayo Clin Proc. In Press 2/2015. 2. Kantarjian H, Steensma D, Rius SJ, Elshaug A, Light D. High Cancer Drug Prices in the United States: Reasons and Proposed Solutions. J Oncol Pract. 2014; 10(4): 208-211. 3. Howard D, Bach P, Berndt E, Conti R. Pricing in the Market for Anticancer Drugs. Journal of Economic Perspectives. 2015; 29(1): 139-162. 4. Silverman E. High Prices for Cancer Drugs are set at Launch: “It’s Where the Action Is”. Wall Street Journal Pharmalot. January 21, 2015. Accessed online February 16, 2015. http://blogs.wsj.com/pharmalot/2015/01/21/high-prices-for-cancer-drugs-are-set-at-launch-its-where-the-action-is/ 5. Household Income in the United States. Wikipedia. Accessed online February 26, 2015: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States 6. Gould E. Increased Health Care Cost Sharing Works as Intended. It Burdens Patients Who Need Care the Most. Accessed online January 15, 2015: http://www.epi.org/publication/bp358-increased-health-care-cost-sharing-works/ 7. Kantarjian H. 119 Collaborator Experts in CML. The price of drugs for chronic myeloid (CML) is a reflection of the unsustainable prices of cancer drugs: from the perspective of a large group of CML experts. Blood. 2013; 12(22): 4439-4442. 8. Kantarjian H. Relevance of the Hippocratic Oath in the 21st Century. The ASCO Post. October 2014; 5(16). Image courtesy of amenic181 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net. This image is for illustration purposes only, and a simulation of cancer medications and their high cost.
Petition to Philippine Congress, Speaker Panteleon Alvares
KALAYAAN MULA SA KANSER : PASS A NATIONAL INTEGRATED CANCER CONTROL ACT NOW!
Cancer is a growing and serious public health concern. It is inextricably linked with the achievement of the country’s poverty reduction and development goals. Cancer incidence is increasing and is ranked as one of the leading causes of death among adults and children. In the 2015 Philippine Cancer Facts and Estimates, it reported 109,280 new cancer cases per year and 66,151 cancer deaths per year. This is translated to 11 new adult cancer cases every hour, and 7 adult cancer deaths every hour. At least 3,900 children are diagnosed with cancer every year or 11 new cases every day. It has been noted that there are at least 8 children die of childhood cancer per day. A recent report of the Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA) states that one in every ten registered deaths in the country is attributable to cancer. Since 2004, cancers have been the third leading cause of death following cardiovascular diseases; for child mortality and morbidity, cancer ranked 4th. Experts opine that the actual cancer burden and cancer mortality in the Philippine is in fact very much higher than what is currently being reported. Many more remain uncounted, unrecorded and unreported due to the absence of national cancer registries. Survival rates for the most common adult cancers (i.e. lung, breast, colon, cervical, prostate, liver) are relatively low compared to other countries in Asia and the world. For females, all cancer mortality rate, the Philippines ranks second highest among 15 countries in Asia, with 124 deaths per 100,000 population. Compared to Asian countries, the Philippines has the highest mortality rate for 2 types of cancer: breast (27 per 100,000 population) and prostate cancer (13 per 100,000 population. Lung cancer mortality rates are also high exceeding 40 per 100,000 population. For breast cancer, the Philippines also has the lowest survival (.58 mortality to incidence ratio. For childhood cancers, which now has an average survival rate of 84% in high income countries and a growing number of middle income countries, average survival rate in the Philippines is at a low 30%. Cancer is a catastrophic disease which pushes families deeper into poverty. It debilitates not only patients, but also their families and loved ones. The financial burden can be overwhelming, given that financial risk protection mechanisms are limited and patients often need to shell out money from their own pockets to pay for treatment and other costs, such as medical supplies, food, and transportation. Evidence shows that in a cohort of cancer patients, the mean out-of-pocket expenditure for cancer treatment, far exceeded the mean household income; 117 percent at baseline to 253 percent twelve months after, leading more than 56 percent of households into financial catastrophe. This does not yet factor in the staggering economic and social costs, with productivity losses for both patients and immediate caregivers. This huge out of pocket costs often deter health seeking behavior or leads to discontinuance and abandonment of treatment (i.e. voluntary stoppage of necessary treatment by patient /family) . In some areas and with certain types of cancer, abandonment or discontinuance of treatment can be as high as 75% while average treatment compliance is at a low 21%. These conditions are most observed among the poor. marginalized sectors but occurs even among the so called middle class. Incidence of cancer is projected to increase by as much as 80%, by 2030, in low resource countries like the Philippines (WHO). This will have a staggering effect on the ability and resiliency of the Philippine health system as well as its overall economy. THUS, PURSUANT TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE II, SECTION 15 ("The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them"), and ARTICLE 13 SECTION 11 ("The State shall adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development which shall endeavor to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all people at affordable cost. There shall be priority for the needs of the underprivileged sick, elderly, disabled, women, and children. The State shall endeavor to provide free medical care to paupers") WE CALL ON GOVERNMENT TO PASS A LAW WHICH WILL EXPAND EFFORTS TO EFFECTIVELY MANAGE AND CONTROL CANCER, IN ALL ITS FORMS, BY INCREASING INVESTMENTS FOR ITS PREVENTION, EARLY AND ACCURATE DETECTION, OPTIMAL TREATMENT, AND BY ADOPTING AN INTEGRATED, MULTI-DISCIPLINARY, AND PATIENT/FAMILY CENTERED APPROACH. We ask that this law include provisions that will have the following integral elements. 1. Strengthening of Cancer Care Infrastructure and Service Delivery Networks to cover the continuum of care. Public health facilities shall be strengthened to provide services spanning prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, palliative and hospice care, survivorship follow up and rehabilitation. This entails (a) providing investments in health facility renovation or upgrade, (b) providing reliable supply of medicines, biologics, and other supplies, (c) training and enhancing oncology related capacities in pathology, radiotherapy, surgery, nursing care, (d) establishing clear protocols for patient navigation and palliative care, (e) ensuring proper recording and monitoring of cancer cases , and (f) ensuring that recording and monitoring extends to primary health care units. Regional Cancer Centers shall likewise be designated in strategic areas to improve access to optimal care and reduce patient costs. Robust and cost effective refer all systems among various levels of service delivery shall be institutionalized. 2. Strengthening the capacity of the Human Resources for Health in Cancer Care. A competency-based curriculum for all health care workers providing cancer care treatment and support at all levels of the healthcare service delivery system shall be created. This shall include multi-disciplinary, interdisciplinary approaches to cancer care. This will also include adoption of cost-effective teaching platforms for enhanced knowledge, skills, and attitude and implementation of health worker accreditation and certification mechanisms. 3. Strengthening the FDA to ensure the safety, quality, and efficacy of medicines, biologics, and other health technologies. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shall strengthen its regulatory capacity to ensure availability of safe, efficacious, quality medicines, biologics, and other health technologies for cancer patients. The FDA shall also develop policies facilitating clinical trials, supporting early access to innovative therapies and health technologies to ensure highest possible fighting chance of survival among people with cancer. 4. Institutionalizing Funding and Social Protection Mechanisms for Cancer Patients, Survivors, Caregivers, and their Families. Given the catastrophic nature of cancer and in order to ensure equitable access to treatment and care, there is a need to provide financial support to cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, and their families in the following forms: Establishment of a Cancer Assistance Fund to reduce out-of-pocket expenditures for diagnosis, treatment, follow through survivorship care and rehabilitation services. This may be sourced from pooled and integrated funds from the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, among others. PhilHealth Benefit Packages for Cancer. The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Phil Health) shall develop and/or expand its benefit packages to include all forms of cancer including metastatic cancers and high risk cancers in children . Social Protection Mechanisms for cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, and their families. The State, in collaboration with DOH, SSS, GSIS, PCSO, PAGCOR, DOLE, DSWD, DOLE and LGUs shall develop social protection mechanisms to support the needs of the cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and their families to reduce, if not eliminate catastrophic cost and ensure well-being. Nondiscrimination. Access to healthcare services should be provided without discrimination regarding race, religion, sex, national origin, or disability. Patients should also be free from discrimination based on their disease, with respect to both employment and health insurance accessibility 5. Establishment of a National Cancer Registry and Surveillance System and Evidence Generation. A National cancer registry and surveillance system covering all forms of cancer among adults and children shall be designed and implemented to support program decision-making. All public and private health centers, hospitals and facilities shall also observe notification protocols to alert the DOH of all cancer cases. 6. National and regional research and demonstration projects shall be conducted to generate evidence to improve policies and the implementation of the Integrated Philippine Cancer Control and Management Program (IPCCMP). 7. Strengthening Health Promotion, Information, and Education Programs. Health promotion and education activities shall be strengthened in schools and learning institutions, work places, communities, and among vulnerable, at-risk, and disadvantaged populations. A National Cancer Information Office shall also be developed to develop platforms (e.g. interactive websites) to provide comprehensive cancer information services to cancer patients, their families, the public, and health professionals. The DOH, in coordination with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), KBP (Kapisanan nang Broadcasters nang Pilipinas) and other related institutions , shall encourage media outlets to launch a media campaign on adoption of healthy lifestyles, early warning signs and symptoms of cancer, cancer prevention and control, treatment and management, using all forms of traditional multimedia and social media. The media campaign shall maximize participation of advertising agencies in developing behavior change communication materials that would promote cancer information and encourage adoption of health lifestyles among the public. 8. Establishing National Cancer Screening Programs. Identifying cancer at the earliest possible stage means that treatment is less costly, cure is most likely, survival rates will increase and health outcomes will become more positive. We envision that creation and passage of this law will ensure that a diagnosis of cancer will no longer be akin to a a death sentence and that Filipinos will be able to fight and survive cancer just like citizens of other countries in Asia and the world. Increased survivorship and improved health outcomes for Filipinos with cancer will contribute to our countrys achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Reduce mortality from cancer by at least 30%) as well as the realization of our countrys health and development priorities. KALABANIN ANG KANSER TUNGO SA TUNAY NA KALAYAAN! CANCER COALITION PHILIPPINES The Cancer Coalition Philippines (CCPh) is a national coalition of cancer patient support organizations, health care providers, cancer advocates and champions engaging and working with government, policy makers, private sector, civil society, and international development partners. This petition is supported by the following: HOSPICE PHILIPPINES I CAN SERVE FOUNDATION CANCER WARRIORS FOUNDATION CAREWELL COMMUNITY FOUNDATION PHARMACEUTICAL AND HEALTHCARE ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES PAIN SOCIETY OF THE PHILIPPINES PHILIPPINE BRAIN TUMOR ALLIANCE PHILIPPINE CANCER SOCIETY PHILIPPINE COLLEGE OF SURGEONS PHILIPPINE OBSTETRICAL AND GYNECOLOGICAL SOCIETY PHILIPPINE SOCIETY OF HEMATOLOGY & BLOOD TRANSFUSION PHILIPPINE SOCIETY OF MEDICAL ONCOLOGY PHILIPPINE SOCIETY OF ONCOLOGISTS PHILIPPINE SOCIETY OF PATHOLOGISTS PHILIPPINE SOCIETY OF PEDIATRIC HEMATOLOGY PHILIPPINE SOCIETY OF PEDIATRIC ONCOLOGY PROJECT: BRAVE KIDS INC. SOROPTIMIST INTERNATION ORTIGAS & ENVIRONS SURGICAL ONCOLOGY SOCIETY OF THE PHILIPPINES  Ngelangel et al (2016). Philippine Costs in Oncology Study. https://www.facebook.com/CancerCoalitionPH/
Petition to Politicians, Governments, Medical Associations
PETITION FOR BRIGGS FOR A NEW ERA IN MEDICAL CARE
My wife Briggs would still be alive if not for all the harm that was done to her in the course of her treatment. We had begun turning around her cancer when I lost her to medical errors in what was meant to be a short emergency hospital stay. I wrote a book about her cancer journey, "Briggs: Love, Cancer, and the Medical Profession". A sister petition to this one, the Petition for Briggs for Cancer Immunotherapy for All, has been signed by 30 stars, legends, eminent professors, and a founder of Stand Up to Cancer. A recent study in the British Medical Journal confirmed one of my chapter titles, that medical errors are still the third leading cause of death in the U.S. I took the shot above very early in the morning. All Briggs cared about was that a nurse had just given her a warmed blanket. Her loop colostomy had failed. She was about to have a revision surgery, a more radical end colostomy which put her through hell for months to come with a 24-hour-a-day discharge. Loop colostomies regularly fail. There are three methods to avoid it. In going over Briggs's medical records for the book, I found her doctor had used none. He's a premier surgeon at one of the most prestigious cancer centres in Manhattan, if not the world. A retired nurse wrote in a review of the book, "We need this type of information long before something happens because in the throes of it one becomes so drained they cannot decide which way to go!!" A doctor calls it "a major eye opener." He messaged me separately to say it's overturned his approach to medicine, and told me of saving a boy's life by intervening with a colleague. I quote a Harvard professor's estimate that between 90 and 99 percent of side effects go unreported. The FDA relies on those reports to determine the ongoing safety of a drug once it's on the market. The side effects of an anti-anemia drug Briggs was given just one time put her in the hospital for 30 days. I later found there'd been a Congressional hearing on the safety of it. Briggs had almost died even after the paramedics came. A University of Minnesota study found that morphine increases sensitivity to pain (hence the constant increases) and can cause tumors to grow. The State of Ohio has filed lawsuits against five major drug manufacturers, accusing them of misrepresenting the risks of other prescription opioids such as OxyContin. (One of those companies is Johnson & Johnson. It's now lost four cases, with 2400 more pending, over claims their talc-based have long caused ovarian cancer.) I cite a study co-funded by the National Institutes of Health and led by a team at the University of California, San Francisco. Depending on the facility, it found that CT scans can deliver up to 13 times their already-high base radiation. There are dozens more examples in the book. Another reader wrote, "My own experience, and the unflinching witness of Paul Sanderson's enraging, moving, generous tribute to his wife, communicate that damage comes far more easily than healing when principles and intentions become distorted…So, read this book as a warning, as an opportunity, as a privilege."Susan Sarandon writes, "He's giving us the tools to avoid the 'died of complications from' in too many patients' obituaries at the same time as setting out to usher in a new era in cancer twenty years ahead of time. Let's join him in the fight."Please join me in calling for a new era in medical care and treatment, including by extension the pharmaceutical industry. We need standardized procedures; a new approach to the approval and dispensing of drugs; far more analysis of their effectiveness and safety compared with well-documented natural alternatives; patients and caregivers being given crucial, comprehensive information; the list goes on and on, including addressing such issues as a recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine finding that for every hour physicians were seeing patients, they needed to spend almost two additional hours on paperwork. This petition is meant to begin the conversation in earnest. Paul
Petition to US/EPA , Heidi Harmon, Mayor
Ban Oil/Gas Fracking in San Luis Obispo County, CA & underground pipeline in Nipomo, CA.
Fracking is an inherently dangerous threat to our air, water and health. Ban Oil/Gas fracking now in San Luis Obispo County, CA. Why is this important?Fracking is a toxic method of oil and gas extraction that involves blasting vast quantities of water and toxic chemicals deep underground and it's endangering countless Californians' health, safety and livelihoods. Big Oil/Gas has plans to massively expand fracking in a huge section of the state roughly 1,750 square miles from Southern to Central California, from Modesto to San Diego County--putting our precious water, our farms, and our health at risk. In the last ten years, fracking has expanded rapidly in states like Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Texas and Colorado. Residents living near fracking operations suffer from constant noise and light pollution, endless diesel truck traffic, toxic spills, contaminated water, dangerous air pollution, increased crime, and falling property values. If fracking continues to expand, it could spell ruin for California farmers. Appallingly, even in times of drought, the fracking industry regularly outbids farmers for water rights, increasing the price of water and directly jeopardizing their livelihoods. And the toxic chemicals and heavy metals associated with fracking operations can contaminate the soil, air and water, leach into crops, and kill livestock. But despite the clear risks posed to Californians by the oil industry's plans to frack our state, legislation that would have placed a moratorium on fracking died in the Assembly and Governor Brown appears eager to encourage the expansion of this toxic industry. That's why we have to take matters into our own hands and ban fracking at the local level. Cities and counties in California have broad authority to ban fracking, and we should pressure our elected officials to step in where the state government has so far failed to act. Local bans on fracking may also be one of the most effective strategies for winning change at the state level. If a wave of cities and counties in California reject fracking, it will put increased pressure on Governor Brown to ban fracking in all of California. Hundreds of communities across the country, from New York and New Mexico, to Pennsylvania, Ohio and Colorado, have successfully passed local bans or moratoriums on fracking in order to protect their homes and pressure state officials to act. Ban underground pipeline project construction at the public park in Nipomo, CA. Now it's up to us. Please sign my petition and help me ban fracking in our community. Together, we can pressure our elected officials to act. Sources: San Luis Obispo County Pending. 7/2017 Santa Barbara Becomes First California City to Pass Resolution Against Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling. 7/26/2017https://www.ecowatch.com/santa-barbara-offshore-drilling-2465777011.html Monterey County is California’s first major oil-producing county to ban fracking. 11/29/2016 https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/impact/monterey-county-california%E2%80%99s-first-major-oil-producing-county-ban-fracking Alameda Becomes 5th County in California to Ban Fracking. 7/20/2016 https://www.ecowatch.com/alameda-county-becomes-fifth-in-california-to-ban-fracking-1933900702.html What Banning Fracking in Butte County Taught Me about Grassroots Organizing. 6/17/2016 https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/impact/what-banning-fracking-butte-county-taught-me-about-grassroots-organizing Election win puts rural San Benito County on anti-fracking map. 11/29/2014 http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-san-benito-fracking-20141129-story.html Mendocino County is first California community to enact ban. 11/5/2017 http://www.ohio.com/blogs/drilling/ohio-utica-shale-1.291290/mendocino-county-is-first-california-community-to-enact-ban-1.538340 Beverly Hills Becomes First City in California to Pass Fracking Ban. 4/24/2014 https://www.ecowatch.com/beverly-hills-becomes-first-city-in-california-to-pass-fracking-ban-1881899667.html
Petition to The Cancer Industry, Cancer Organizations, and Governments
PETITION FOR BRIGGS FOR CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY FOR ALL - A New Era
Thanks for coming here in Briggs's memory. I tried for a year to get access to the immunotherapy she needed. Just four days after I heard we finally had a chance, I lost her to complications brought on in what was meant to be a short emergency hospital stay. It should never have been that close. And no-one should ever have to go through all Briggs did. Cancer disguises itself. Immunotherapy either alerts the immune system to it or does such things as block the disguise. The immunotherapeutic vaccine (curative not preventive) I'd been pursuing for Briggs had brought complete remissions in stage IV colorectal cancer. Immunotherapy's a potential cure in all other solid-tumor cancers such as breast, lung, renal, and pancreatic. The Vice Chair of Neurosurgery at University of California, Los Angeles has successfully used it in the usually incurable brain cancer that took Senator Ted Kennedy and, in 2015, Joe Biden's son Beau. She has patients still cancer-free at over 10 years. In early 2016 an immunotherapy put President Jimmy Carter's stage IV melanoma into complete remission despite it having already spread to his liver and brain. Development of it was led by a professor on this petition. Immunotherapy's also worked in acute leukemia. In 2012 all treatment had failed with a 6-year-old girl at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Her condition was terminal, but a test after 3 weeks showed no cancer. 60 Minutes later ran a story on it. Memorial Sloan-Kettering has succeeded in adult leukemia. If you'd like to read more on immunotherapy, this article of mine about it and Briggs was featured by the Huffington Post and Stand Up to Cancer: 30 Stars and Doctors Sign the 'Petition for Briggs for Cancer Immunotherapy for All'. Former NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg and Amazon's Jeff Bezos and his family have donated tens of millions to cancer centres for the development of immunotherapies. Bill and Melinda Gates have invested in a company focused on them. It takes anywhere from $350 million at a biotech to $5 billion at a major drug company to bring one new treatment to the market. Tens of billions are needed from, among others, Congress. Please join us in calling for governments, the cancer industry, and cancer organizations to reorient the primary direction of funding, research, and treatment to the safest, most potentially effective immunotherapies in every cancer, and, notably in this context, curative immunotherapeutic vaccines. (The one I'd tried to get Briggs had a perfect safety profile.) Not trials for trials' sake, which has too often been the case in the past with chemo, etc. An overabundance of unwarranted trials only leads to lack of oversight and harm. And in conjunction with that, to make information on immunotherapy routinely and widely available to patients and caregivers. (If you've read Briggs: Love, Cancer, and the Medical Profession, comments to build awareness would helpfully reach more people as a book review on the Amazon kindle/paperback page: www.Amazon.com/BRIGGS. Only the latest show below.) Heartfelt thanks for signing in Briggs's memory, to begin changing this for others as she so wanted, and for anyone you know with cancer; I hope not a close loved one or you yourself. Paul_________________________________A sister petition to this addresses medical errors especially, the Petition for Briggs for a New Era in Medical Care and Treatment _________________________________Join Rod Laver, Martina Navratilova, Nick Kyrgios & 10 squash greats in the Volleying Challenge for Briggs's Petition_________________________________Twitter: @BRIGGSsBook