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Letter to President Bush


Jan

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Sent 5/14/03--

Dear President Bush,

On behalf of lung cancer patients and survivors , and their caregivers, we thank your administration for approving the drug, Iressa, which is the first breakthrough in treating advanced lung cancer. We appreciate the efforts of Mark McClellan,MD the Director of the Food and Drug Administration and Richard Pazdur, MD, the Director of Oncologic Drugs who enabled this approval to take place.

As the only truly novel new drug for advanced lung cancer patients, many of whom are former members of the Armed Services, we urge your administration to include this drug under Medicare coverage. A word from you, Mr. President, could make this happen immediately. Time is of the essence since someone in the United States dies of lung cancer every three minutes.

Although lung cancer causes over 30% of all cancer deaths year after year, more than the combined total of breast, prostate and colon cancers, it has received only token amounts of funding and attention from the federal government and the NCI. The lung cancer mortality rate of 85% has remained virtually unchanged since the passage of the Cancer Act of 1971.

We understand that Andrew Von Eschenbach, MD, the Director of the National Cancer Institute, intends to focus on lung cancer in his initiative to end the death and suffering from cancer by 2015, and that he and Dr. McClellan are developing a new dynamic relationship between FDA and NCI to further expedite the achievement of that goal.

We applaud this turn of events and assure you, Mr. President, and Dr. Von Eschenbach and Dr.McClellan, that we are fully committed to assisting in every way we can.

Thanks for the details of your last wk, and it all continues...

We're getting Board approval to send the Bush ltr--revised version below.

Might it not be a good idea to wait and see what the NCI-FDA announcement is at ASCO before writing the notes ot Pazdur and von E?

When's the NCI/Dana-Farber announcing the SPORE?

Dear President Bush,

On behalf of lung cancer survivors and their families, we thank your administration for approving the drug Iressa for treating advanced lung cancer. Iressa is one of very few drugs for advanced lung cancer patients whose previous treatments are no longer effective. We appreciate the efforts of Mark McClellan, M.D. the director of the Food and Drug Administration and Richard Pazdur, M.D., the director of oncologic drugs, and the careful review of evidence F.D.A. brought to this process.

Many Americans diagnosed with lung cancer are Medicare recipients (and many are veterans of the Armed Services). Yet Iressa, a pill, is not covered as an oral cancer drug. We urge your administration to include this drug under Medicare coverage-a word from you, Mr. President, could make this happen immediately. Time is of the essence, since lung cancer kills another American every three minutes.

Although lung cancer causes over 30% of all cancer deaths year after year, more than the combined total of breast, prostate and colorectal cancers, it has received only token amounts of federal research funding and attention. Its mortality rate of 85% has remained virtually unchanged since the passage of the Cancer Act of 1971. The Alliance for Lung Cancer Advocacy, Support, and Education (ALCASE) is the only national no-for-profit patient advocacy group solely serving people with lung cancer.

We understand that Andrew Von Eschenbach, M.D., the Director of the National Cancer Institute, intends to focus on lung cancer in his initiative to end the death and suffering from cancer by 2015, and that he and Dr. McClellan are developing a new dynamic relationship between FDA and NCI to further expedite the achievement of that goal. We applaud this turn of events and assure you, Mr. President, and Dr. Von Eschenbach and Dr. McClellan that we are fully committed to assisting in every way we can.

Sincerely,

Randolph Urmston

President, ALCASE Board of Directors

J. Steven Hart

Member, ALCASE Board of Directors

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