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 Aetna, James Coates, Beverly Harmon
Tell Aetna to approve coverage of HSCT so Lauren can have a healthy future.
Lauren Laster was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in her twenties. Lauren and her husband have adorable, 3 year-old twin girls and wants to take an active role in their lives whether it be participating in sports, dance, or whatever the future holds. With progression of the disease, Lauren could end up in a debilitating state that leaves her physically dependent. Lauren was given a glimpse of hope when she was accepted by Northwestern Hospital for a Hematopoietic Stem-Cell Transplantation (HSCT). The basic goal of HSCT is to regenerate an immune system that has no recollection of ever attacking the body in the first place, sending the disease into permanent remission. Aetna has denied insurance coverage for the procedure. Aetna has chosen not to provide Lauren the opportunity to be the mother and wife she wants to be. Without the procedure, Lauren will have to continue taking medications that have not proven to halt the disease. This is a disease with permanent consequences that are occurring now and are not reversible. The sooner she gets help the better chances she has to limit the residual effects of this disease. With your support, we can request that Aetna change their decision and provide Lauren and her family with the opportunity to live a full and active life together.
Petition to Mary Belk, Jeff Tarte, Darren Jackson, Mark Meadows, Joel Ford, Andrew Brock, Louis Pate, Harry Brown, Howard Hunter, Michele Presnell, Phil Berger, Carl Ford, North Carolina State House, North Carolina State Senate, North Carolina Governor, Richard Burr, Thom Tillis, Norman Sanderson, Carla Cunningham, Joe Queen, George Holding, Richard Hudson, David Rouzer, Mark Walker, Jonathan Jordan, Virginia Foxx, David Price, Alma Adams, G.K. Butterfield
Legalize Medical Marijuana in North Carolina
How might cannabinoids be useful as medicine?Currently, the two main cannabinoids from the marijuana plant that are of medical interest are THC and CBD. THC can increase appetite and reduce nausea. THC may also decrease pain, inflammation (swelling and redness), and muscle control problems. Unlike THC, CBD is a cannabinoid that doesn't make people "high." It may be useful in reducing pain and inflammation, controlling epileptic seizures, and possibly even treating mental illness and addictions. Many researchers, including those funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), are continuing to explore the possible uses of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids for medical treatment. LETTER FROM THE NIH Director Changes in marijuana policies across states legalizing marijuana for medical and/or recreational use suggest that marijuana is gaining greater acceptance in our society. Thus, it is particularly important for people to understand what is known about both the adverse health effects and the potential therapeutic benefits linked to marijuana. Because marijuana impairs short-term memory and judgment and distorts perception, it can impair performance in school or at work and make it dangerous to drive. It also affects brain systems that are still maturing through young adulthood, so regular use by teens may have negative and long-lasting effects on their cognitive development, putting them at a competitive disadvantage and possibly interfering with their well-being in other ways. Also, contrary to popular belief, marijuana can be addictive, and its use during adolescence may make other forms of problem use or addiction more likely. Whether smoking or otherwise consuming marijuana has therapeutic benefits that outweigh its health risks is still an open question that science has not resolved. Although many states now permit dispensing marijuana for medicinal purposes and there is mounting anecdotal evidence for the efficacy of marijuana-derived compounds, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved "medical marijuana." However, safe medicines based on cannabinoid chemicals derived from the marijuana plant have been available for decades and more are being developed. This Research Report is intended as a useful summary of what the most up-to-date science has to say about marijuana and its effects on those who use it at any age. Nora D. Volkow, M.D.DirectorNational Institute on Drug Abuse ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA INCREASE REVENUES WITHOUT TAX INCREASESCannabis is a $50+ billion dollar industry. Currently, all of those revenues go directly to cartels and criminal gangs. Through regulation and taxation, we can transform these black market billions into taxable revenues. This new income can bolster our state economy without raising taxes on main street. JOB CREATIONJob creation is integral to any robust economy. Cannabis jobs already exist in Georgia; unfortunately, they all are held by criminals. A well-regulated medical cannabis program will create new jobs for hard-working, tax-paying Georgians. From horticulturists cultivating plants, to labs testing the safety of the medicine, to employees at dispensaries, regulated medical cannabis will create thousands of new, high-paying jobs in our state. DECREASE GOVERNMENT SPENDINGCannabis prohibition is expensive. Harvard economist, Jeffrey Miron, estimates that state and federal governments spend an excess of $20 billion per year fighting this little green plant. Much of this cost comes from burdening our justice system, wasting law enforcement’s time, and using $125/day of taxpayer money incarcerating cannabis offenders. To add insult to injury, these efforts continue to fail as cannabis is more available than ever before. FORTIFY INFRASTRUCTURE AND SOCIAL PROGRAMSApplying the increased revenues with the decreased expenses caused by medical cannabis legalization yields a net gain in the billions. This ‘new’ money can be used to fortify our many distressed and underfunded public works programs like the lagging education system, build new roads that reduce traffic and increase Social Security and Medicare benefits for our seniors. WEAKEN CRIMINAL ORGANIZATIONSHow do gangs and cartels have the same weapons that our military uses? Why do drug dealers drive $100,000 cars? Because selling illicit drugs is a wildly lucrative and untaxed business. Legalizing and regulating medical cannabis will take this profit center away from murderous criminals and transfer it to licensed and regulated businesses. By taking these revenues from organized crime, we can significantly weaken them financially. Additionally, we will be able to control how and to whom medical cannabis is dispensed by setting responsible standards to which businesses must adhere. Liquor stores ID customers, drug dealers do not.
Petition to Department of Education, AAMA
Medical Assistants Education, Pay and Recognition
This petition is to seek and demand better pay, education opportunities and experience recognition for medical assistants. Most Certified Medical Assistants attend college/technical school for 2 years or more to earn an associate degree worth $20,000-$30,000. Medical Assistants are the backbone of most medical offices performing all duties required for the office to run smoothly clinical and administrative. Most medical assistants perform all duties and even more than a Registered Nurse is trained to do and in some cases have more clinical experience and knowledge. The starting pay for a medical assistant is around $10 an hour meanwhile starting pay for a Registered Nurse with only an associate as well is around $25 an hour. Medical assistants are grossly underpaid and have no opportunities to grow or continue their education in the medical field. A medical assistant is required to start from scratch regardless of earning an "Associate Degree" or experience since college credits are not accepted for transfer to any other school. This petition is mostly to acknowledge the 2 year education of a medical assistant and allow them to continue their education in the medical field without starting over completely. A two year associate should be acknowledge like any other profession and be carried on and applied to pursue a bachelor degree in the medical field. Also the pay rate of a medical assistant should be according to the level of responsibility and work load, a medical assistant assist with medical procedures, administer medications, administer vaccines, perform phlebotomy and is able to perform every single task in an office from the front desk, visit, triage, discharge/check out and much more. I know many of us are stuck in a low income job, barely unable to have a decent living, we are definitely no able to repay our loans and we should be able to continue our education without our effort, time and money spent being ignored by starting over trying to better ourselves and serve the medical field. Fellow medical assistants please sign this petition and lets our voice heard.
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 United States Supreme Court, Donald Trump, Department of Justice
Mandate allowance of Medicated Assisted Treatment in all Community Corrections Programs
An estimated 65% of individuals in United States prisons or jails have a substance use disorder, and an additional 20% of individuals in United States prisons are substance involved. For many years, the percentage of incarcerated individuals with substance use disorders and other substance involvement has been rising at a level disproportionate to the overall rise in the United States prison population.A substantial number of incarcerated individuals with substance use disorders are addicted to opioids, such as heroin and prescription pain medication. In 2000, forexample, a median of 5.6% of adult male arrestees and 6.6% of adult female arrestees tested positive for opiates at arrest, with the numbers much larger in some urban areas (a range of 10% to 27% in ten of thirty-five urban areas sampled). An estimated 9% of all individuals in state prisons and jails were using opiates in the month prior to incarceration, and an estimated 12% of individuals in jails and 15% of individuals in state prisons have used opiates regularly at some point. The percentages of people with substance use disorders at all other phases of the criminal justice system are at least as high, and often higher. For example, 69% of probationers reported past drug use, with 32% reporting illegal drug use in the month before their offense. The enormous amount of substance use among individuals with criminal justice involvement has far-reaching consequences. Substance use has been clearly linked to the commission of crimes. For the overwhelming majority of incarcerated individuals, substance involvement was a factor in their crimes. Recidivism rates are higher among incarcerated individuals with substance involvement than among other incarcerated individuals: in 2006, 53.4% of incarcerated individuals with substance involvement were re-incarcerated, as opposed to 38.9% of other incarcerated individuals. Substance use among incarcerated individuals also impacts families and children. In 2006, it is estimated that 1 million substance involved parents, with 2.2 million minor children, were incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails, leading to significant negative effects on children and families. Substance use in United States jails and prisons also impacts broader public health issues. Both methadone and buprenorphine have been found to reduce health problems linked to heroin use, including the transmission of infectious diseases and overdose deaths. Scientific research has firmly established the success of drug treatment in reducing addiction and criminal activity more effectively and at far less cost than incarceration. This includes addiction treatment that utilizes medications that have been proven effective for treatment of opioiddependence (commonly called “Medication Assisted Treatment,” or “MAT”), such as methadone and buprenorphine. MAT uses “agonist” or “partial agonist” medications, such as methadone or buprenorphine, to normalize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of opioids, relieve physiological cravings, and normalize body functions without the negative effects of the short-acting drugs of abuse.Methadone maintenance treatment (“MMT”) has been available for over 40 years and has been confirmed clinically effective for opioid dependence in more than 300 published research studies. In 1997, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) Consensus Panel found that various treatments available, methadone maintenance treatment, combined with attention to medical, psychiatric and socio-economic issues, as well as drug counseling, has the highest probability of being effective.” The NIH report also recommended that “all opiate-dependent persons under legal supervision should have access to [MMT] and the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy [“ONDCP”] and the U.S. Department of Justice [“DOJ”] should take the necessary steps to implement this recommendation.” The Office of National Drug Control Policy has also described methadone as a “rigorously well-tested medication that is safe and efficacious for the treatment of narcotic withdrawal and dependence.”A 2009 study found buprenorphine at least as effective as methadone, when administered in a correctional setting. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (“NIDA”) found that both methadone and buprenorphine “have been shown to help normalize brain function” for individuals addicted to heroin. A number of studies have shown buprenorphine to be effective in managing opiate withdrawal and dependence. MAT in the criminal justice system would reduce costs in addition to improving health care. While MAT costs about $4,000 per person each year, incarceration in United States prisons has an average annual cost of $22,279.19 Numerous studies also have shown that MAT reduces drug use and criminal activity among opiate addicted persons, “with effects many times the size of hospitalbased detoxification, drug-free outpatient treatment, and residential treatment.” Yet, in many Community based Community Corrections Center Across the country, there are blanket policies banning this treatment, directly contributing to the recedivism rate and not helping anyone. As a addict myself, i was once on house arrest, a single father with custody of my son, a full time worker, brother, son, uncle, and grandson. i suffered a injury and am in need of medication, the only medicine that is allowed is opiates!?!?! why? as a man that has spent 7 years (all for opiates, and the person they make me become) i am finally stong enough to say that i do not want opiates, i do not want to be that man i was before. i refuse to get them and used the buprenorphine instead. Now, i have lost 195 days of my good time, have lost my son, and have had my house arrest revoked, and put on work release instead. i am now on the verdge of going back to prison all because of this uneducated policy that our goverment helps fund to "help people get better". America is the highest incarcerated country per capita in the world!!!!!! As the great leaders of this country, tell me this, are we here to help our country? or is incarceration a buisness? Please sign this petition and thank you all for your support. Mr Trump, you declared this a National Emergency, require these places to give us addicts the help we need or cut there funding!!!!! LETS MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
Petition to Eric Holcomb, Indiana State House, Indiana State Senate
Legalize medical marijuana in Indiana!
I recently read a news article about the legalization of medical marijuana in Indiana. I also read many of the comments on this article and I feel that if this issue is not on a ballot of the people of Indiana to vote on then we should have a way to be heard. I created this petition so that the Indiana people in favor of Indiana legalizing medical marijuana can be heard. If this petition does nothing more then to get this issue on a ballot to be voted on then it has served a great purpose. Let the people of Indiana's voice be heard.
Petition to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Trey Gowdy, United States Department of Health and Human Services
Get CPT codes and allow Doula's to be included in insurance
Many years, in America women make the conscious decision to use a midwife and prefer to labor at home. The decision to birth at home, a birthing center, or at a hospital is their choice and right, as well as the providers they elect to assist with the birth of her baby. It has been studied and well documented that a Doula can be a valuable asset to a mom during labor, birth, and postpartum. Doula's provide lactation support, postpartum classes and training for new moms, and also increase the mortality rate of a home birth. While Doula's are NOT healcare providers in the sense of being a RN, or a DR. We are advocates for mom, we help relieve pressure and pain from the birthing process and many of us are certified to provide this service. We are even allowed to have a NPI number, which is a step in the right direction, but if we bill an insurance company then it's considered "insurance fraud" which confuses many doula's because we are under the impression that if we have the NPI we can bill insurance and we feel we should be able to provide quality care for mom! Here are some statistics on how DOULAS help during birth: Twenty-two trials involving 15,288 women met inclusion criteria and provided usable outcome data. Results are of random-effects analyses, unless otherwise noted. Women allocated to continuous support were more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth (RR 1.08, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04 to 1.12) and less likely to have intrapartum analgesia (RR 0.90, 95% CI 0.84 to 0.96) or to report dissatisfaction (RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.59 to 0.79). In addition, their labours were shorter (MD -0.58 hours, 95% CI -0.85 to -0.31), they were less likely to have a caesarean (RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.67 to 0.91) or instrumental vaginal birth (fixed-effect, RR 0.90, 95% CI 0.85 to 0.96), regional analgesia (RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.88 to 0.99), or a baby with a low five-minute Apgar score (fixed-effect, RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.50 to 0.95). There was no apparent impact on other intrapartum interventions, maternal or neonatal complications, or breastfeeding. Subgroup analyses suggested that continuous support was most effective when the provider was neither part of the hospital staff nor the woman's social network, and in settings in which epidural analgesia was not routinely available. No conclusions could be drawn about the timing of onset of continuous support. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS:Continuous support during labour has clinically meaningful benefits for women and infants and no known harm. All women should have support throughout labour and birth. cited from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23076901 A second study : When continuous labor support was provided by a doula, women experienced a: 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin*28% decrease in the risk of Cesarean*12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth*9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience*For four of these outcomes,* results with a doula were better than all the other types of continuous support that were studied. Our petition to you is to allow us to continue use of certified doulas, and help us reduce the over all cost of births, you can accomplish this by allowing doulas bill insurance providers and having insurance providers cover our services to moms.