Highlights show impacts of drug shortages and importance of biomarker testing.
On Oct. 19, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) released its latest Survivor Views survey showing the nation’s drug shortage crisis continues to affect cancer patients and survivors. The new survey finds that 1 in every 10 (10%) survivors have experienced impacts to care, with a majority of whom have had difficulties finding substitute medications (68%) and cited treatment delays (59%).
“Today’s survey makes clear that our nation’s drug shortage continues to be a life-threatening issue for too many patients who depend on access to the medicine they need to survive,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN. “Congress needs to act urgently to address today’s drug shortages by advancing a comprehensive proposal that will both resolve the current issue as well as prevent future crises.”
In addition to the impact of the current drug shortages, respondents were asked if biomarker testing, an increasingly important tool in cancer care, had changed the course of their treatment. An overwhelming majority of respondents (77%) who have had biomarker testing agreed that the results gave their provider valuable information that led to better treatment, with the same number (77%) of those who had not had biomarker testing noting they would like to have it if they were a good candidate.
ACS CAN’s work in advocating for equitable access to biomarker testing continues to be a long-standing priority to ensure more individuals can receive the most effective treatment for their specific cancer. Through the diligent efforts of ACS CAN volunteers, 13 states to date have enacted legislation to expand access to such testing, including most recently California, where Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation into law earlier this month. The bill, supported by ACS CAN and the University of California, received bipartisan support throughout the legislative process.
The data from September’s Survivor Views was collected between Sept. 12 - 25, 2023. A total of 1,222 cohort participants responded to the survey.
Read the full polling memo here.
Through ACS CAN’s Survivor Views initiative, ACS CAN receives direct feedback from cancer patients and survivors about their experiences and their perspectives on critical cancer-related issues. This information helps shape the development of policy positions and provides important evidence to support the enactment of these policies.
For more information on Survivor Views, visit ACS CAN’s website at www.fightcancer.org/survivor-views.