Cancer Care Providers Urge President Biden to Make Health Care a State of the Union Priority

Increasing Medical Research Funding, Ending Cancer Drug Shortages Among Top Concerns
For immediate release
March 7, 2024


Allison Miller

Alexandria, Va.—The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is calling on President Biden to continue to prioritize access to high-quality, equitable cancer care in his State of the Union address. Specifically, the cancer care community is calling on the President to advocate for robust funding for medical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) in its final FY 2024 and FY 2025 appropriations bills. The community is also pushing for policies to fix shortages of essential medicines, including cancer drugs. 

A statement from Everett E. Vokes, MD, FASCO, Chair of the Board, Association for Clinical Oncology follows:

“The president’s steadfast commitment to accelerating progress in cancer research, and the years-long bipartisan Congressional support for increased federal cancer research funding, has resulted in rapid advancements for the treatment of many cancers. More than ever, we are seeing the benefits of past investments in new breakthroughs and the National Cancer Plan provides a clear roadmap to maximize these benefits for the greatest good. We need Congress and the administration to work together to protect cancer research funding in the FY 24 and FY 25 appropriations process to ensure this progress continues.

“In addition to investing in new treatments, we must also ensure ready access to already-proven treatments including generic chemotherapy drugs. Unfortunately, shortages of sterile injectable chemotherapy agents have reached crisis proportions over the last year. Cancer providers are facing impossible choices of who has their care delayed and who makes do with less or alternative treatments. While the administration has taken steps to try to mitigate these shortages, more needs to be done across all of government. We urge the president and lawmakers to address the economic factors driving generic manufacturers out of the market, incentivize greater U.S. manufacturing and recognize and relay information about shortages in a timely and clear manner.

“Successfully reducing our nation’s cancer burden takes a comprehensive and long-term approach. It must include new discoveries and reliable supplies of medicines we know cure or significantly delay disease progression. ASCO stands ready to work with the administration and Congress to pass policies that achieve these goals and save more lives from cancer.” 

About ASCO: 

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO®) is a 501 (c)(6) organization that represents nearly 50,000 oncology professionals who care for people living with cancer. Established by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. in 2019, ASCO works to ensure that all individuals with cancer have access to high quality, equitable care; that the cancer care delivery system supports optimal cancer care; and that our nation supports robust federal funding for research on the prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter at @ASCO.