Blackburn, Baldwin Introduce Legislation To Expand Patient Access To Innovative Therapies
May 16, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) reintroduced the Facilitating Access to Innovative Diagnostics (FIND) Act to improve patient access to cutting-edge diagnostic technologies.
“Innovative technologies like diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals are important tools in detecting and treating diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. The bipartisan FIND Act would increase patient access to more innovative treatment options while promoting further research and development opportunities for medical manufacturers,” said Senator Blackburn.
“Anyone who’s battled diseases like cancer or Alzheimer’s knows what a difference a clear and early diagnosis can make. And advanced imaging can be that difference, helping identify and diagnose a disease, inform more timely and appropriate treatment plans, and improve overall health care outcomes," said Senator Baldwin. "I’m proud to introduce the FIND Act to expand access to this innovative technology and help more Americans get the treatment they need.”
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: A Diverse Group Of Stakeholders Support The FIND Act
“Amyloid PET is an important diagnostic tool that can help ensure an early and accurate diagnosis, helping clinicians distinguish Alzheimer’s from other forms of dementia or memory loss, and ensure appropriate medical care and treatment. Unfortunately, a Medicare payment policy makes these tests largely unavailable. We are grateful to Sens. Blackburn and Baldwin for reintroducing the bipartisan FIND Act which will increase patient access to functional imaging and improved diagnosis accuracy,” said Rachel Conant, Vice President of Federal Affairs for the Alzheimer's Association.
“New treatments offer hope in slowing the progression of Alzheimer's, but their success depends on accurate diagnosis. Thankfully, the FIND Actwould revise payment policy for imaging diagnostics that facilitate these treatments. We're grateful for the leadership of Senators Blackburn and Baldwin to address this issue and improve access to proven Alzheimer’s diagnostics,” said Jim Taylor, President and CEO of Voices of Alzheimer’s.
“The FIND Act would ensure that payment policy for serious conditions - from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease to prostate cancer and neuroendocrine tumors - keeps up with the progress achieved in medical science,” said Patrick Hope, Executive Director of the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance. “We applaud Senators Marsha Blackburn and Tammy Baldwin for their leadership on this issue and look forward to working alongside them to expand patient access to innovative therapies.”
“Diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals have been shown to provide more precise information about the presence and extent of disease and more accurate assessment of response to various treatments, thereby allowing the clinicians to make more informed decisions, saving costs and improving patient outcomes. We look forward to working with Senators Blackburn and Baldwin on advancing the FIND Act, which will make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients and providers alike,” said Munir Ghesani, MD, FACNM, FACR, President of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI).
“Diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals are an indispensable tool in detecting and diagnosing serious diseases in today’s medical landscape, yet they remain out of reach for many Medicare beneficiaries, so I strongly encourage colleagues of Senators Blackburn and Baldwin to support the Find Act. In addition, I urge patients and health care providers to contact their representatives to convey their support for this bipartisan bill and reinforce that the FIND Act ensures that patients and providers will have access to the latest tools and technologies. The FIND Act will improve patient health outcomes and help reduce the need for more invasive and expensive procedures,” said Michael J. Guastella, Executive Director of the Council on Radionuclides and Radiopharmaceuticals, Inc. (CORAR).
“Innovations in PET imaging are changing the way clinicians evaluate prostate cancer, make treatment decisions and monitor disease progression. We know that incorporating advanced PET into treatment planning for patients with recurrent prostate cancer increases disease-free survival rates, but access to this procedure is limited given that Medicare fails to pay separately for the drugs needed in these scans. The FIND Act, led by Senators Baldwin and Blackburn, addresses this oversight and would allow more care providers to offer this option,” said Ali Manson, Vice President of Government Relations and Advocacy for ZERO Prostate Cancer.
The FIND Act is supported by a diverse group of stakeholders, including AdCon Foundation; AdMeTech Foundation; Advanced Accelerator Applications/Novartis; Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation; Alliance for Aging Research; Alzheimer’s Association; American Brain Coalition; American College of Nuclear Medicine; American College of Radiology; American Parkinson Disease Association; American Society of Radiologic Technologists; American Society of Neuroradiology; AnCan Foundation; Arizona Prostate Cancer Coalition, Inc.; Biogen; Blue Earth Diagnostics; Bracco Diagnostics; Brian Grant Foundation; Cancer ABCs; Carcinoid Cancer Foundation; Cardinal Health; Cerveau Techologies, Inc.; Clarity Pharmaceuticals; Council on Radionuclides and Radiopharmaceuticals, Inc. (CORAR); Curium; Dallas Area Parkinson Society; Davis Phinney Foundation; Eckert & Ziegler Isotope Products; Eckert & Ziegler Radiopharma, Inc.; Eden Radioisotopes, LLC; Eli Lilly & Co.; Eisai; Friends of Parkinson’s; FORCE: Facing Hereditary Cancer Empowered; GE HealthCare Pharmaceutical Diagnostics; GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer; Hawai’i Parkinson Association; Healing NET Foundation; Houston Area Parkinson Society; International Isotopes, Inc; Ionetix; ITM USA, Inc.; Jubilant Radiopharma; Lantheus Holdings, Inc.; Life Molecular Imaging (Formerly Piramal Imaging); Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance; Los Angeles Carcinoid Neuroendocrine Tumor Society; Lymphoma Research Foundation; Mayo Clinic Department of Radiology; METAvivor; Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research; Michigan Parkinson’s Foundation; North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS); National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions; National Association of Nuclear Pharmacies; Navidea Biopharmaceuticals; Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation; NorCal CarciNET Community; Northern California PET; NorthStar Medical Technologies, LLC; Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation; Optimal Tracers; Parkinson Alliance; Parkinson Association of Alabama; Parkinson Association of Central Florida; Parkinson Association of Northern California; Parkinson Association of the Rockies; Parkinson’s Foundation, Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon; Parkinson’s Unity Walk; Parkinson & Movement Disorder Alliance; Parkinson Voice Project; Patient Empowerment Network; PharmaLogic; Pheo Para Alliance; Power for Parkinson’s; Prostate Conditions Education Council; RetireSafe; Right Scan Right Time; SHINE Medical Technologies; Siemens Healthineers; Society of Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging (SNMMI); SOFIE; Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc.; Telix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; TerraPower Isotopes; Veterans Prostate Cancer Awareness, Inc.; Voices of Alzheimer’s; Wilkins Parkinson’s Foundation; and ZERO—The End of Prostate Cancer.
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) operates with a flawed payment structure that discourages life-saving diagnostic radiopharmaceutical technology for patients.
- The FIND Act would require CMS to unpackage newer, advanced diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals.
- The bill addresses the existing payment inequity to ensure Tennesseans have access to the most advanced technology and medical treatment options.