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Wafik S. El-Deiry: RI Cancer Action Day
May 6, 2024, 09:49

Wafik S. El-Deiry: RI Cancer Action Day

Wafik S. El-Deiry shared a post on LinkedIn:

“Stopped by the Rhode Island Statehouse this afternoon to attend a press briefing as part of American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)RI Cancer Action Day to hear presentations on legislation by RI Senator Robert Britto (Britto legislation to improve prescription drug affordability 2024-S 2720) and Deputy Majority Whip of the RI House, Representative Mia Ackerman (to let cancer patients meet their deductible faster by banning an insurance company practice called ‘copay accumulator adjustments’ 2024-H 8041).

Copay accumulator adjustment (CAA) programs leave patients stuck with bills after copays are covered but the payments don’t count towards deductibles. The costs can really add up in a given year.

We also heard from Christina Annunziata, Senior Vice President for Discovery Science at the American Cancer Society who spoke about some cancer treatments in patients with ovarian cancer that last quite some time to keep the tumors from returning. Such drugs known as PARP inhibitors have no generics and so costs get expensive for maintenance therapy.

She made the point that when patients don’t take the drugs and the tumors relapse that cancer care costs end up being even higher. Patients stop taking life saving meds due to copays. Under-represented minorities are more affected leading to widening disparities.

ACSCANRI lead volunteer Paul Adams shared first hand experiences with the harmful effects of the CAAs and how when copays for drugs that are paid through special programs don’t count towards deductibles. The drugs work well but have high costs for copays that can be thousands of dollars each month.

Medical debt, financial toxicity and disparities are increased. 20 states, DC and Puerto Rico already have legislation that restricts use of CAA Programs to disadvantage patients and hopefully Rhode Island will too.”

RI Cancer

Source: Wafik S. El-Deiry/LinkedIn

Wafik El-Deiry, MD, PhD, FACP, FRSM, an American Cancer Society Research Professor, is the Associate Dean for Oncologic Sciences at the Warren Alpert Medical School and Director of the Legorreta Cancer Center at Brown University. Dr. El-Deiry discovered p21(WAF1) as a p53 target gene, cell cycle inhibitor, and tumor suppressor that explained the mammalian cell stress response. This has been the most highly cited original work published in Cell.