State-Level Cancer Policy Priorities, Advocacy Discussed in Statehouses and on ASCO in Action Podcast

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WITH THE MAJORITY of state legislatures currently in session, ASCO and state societies across the country continue to work together to ensure lawmakers understand how legislation impacts the cancer care delivery system. 

For example, in Rhode Island and Washington, ASCO worked with the Rhode Island Clinical Oncologists and the Washington State Medical Oncology Society to send letters in support of bills to raise the legal age of tobacco purchase in their respective states. Washington’s bill passed the House, and Rhode Island’s legislature has not yet acted on the bill. 

The President of the Hawaii Society of Clinical Oncology (HSCO) testified before the Hawaii House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce on SB 2646, which would have required prescribers to review the Hawaii prescription drug monitoring program prior to prescribing a controlled substance. After HSCO’s testimony, SB 2646 was amended to allow for periodic review. 

To learn more about state advocacy and how to get involved, visit the state affiliate resources page on For breaking cancer policy news at the state and federal levels, visit

State Affiliate Council Chair on Latest ASCO in Action Podcast 

MELISSA DILLMON, MD, Chair of ASCO’s State Affiliate Council, joins ASCO Chief Executive Officer Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO, on the latest ASCO in Action podcast to examine current cancer-related policies that state lawmakers are considering and discuss how ASCO members can get involved. 

Dr. Dillmon, a hematologist at the Harbin Clinic in Rome, Georgia, points out there are a wide range of issues bubbling up at the state level that will have a direct impact on the cancer care delivery system. From right-to-try legislation to measures addressing the opioid epidemic, now is a critical time for oncologists to make lawmakers aware of how such policies will impact their patients. 

“I have always believed that you can’t complain about something unless you seek to change it,” said Dr. Dillmon. 

You can listen to the full discussion through, iTunes, and Google Play. ■

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