ASCO Campaign Calls for Urgent Congressional Action on Drug Shortages

December 5, 2023

One of ASCO's Axios Vitals Ads

Generic drug shortages are a crisis for cancer care in the United States (U.S.). Currently, 15 cancer related drugs are in short supply. To help address this emergency, the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is amplifying its calls for Congress to take urgent action to end drug shortages with a new advertising and advocacy campaign.

ASCO’s campaign includes advertisements in Axios Vitals—a prominent health policy newsletter—the week of December 4, 2023. The ads highlight the “impossible choices” oncologists face about who gets to receive their recommended therapy and who has care delayed or makes do with alternate treatments during drug shortages, and they direct readers to urge Congress to take action to address the problem.

In testimony at a December 5 U.S. Senate Committee on Finance hearing on the issue, Past Chair of ASCO’s Government Relations Committee Jason R. Westin, MD, MS, FACP,  highlighted the toll of drug shortages on individuals with cancer. “The shortage of critical cancer drugs is an urgent crisis. My patients, and their families, deserve to know that they will get the care they need without delay. Providers shouldn’t have to make impossible choices about patient care,” Dr. Westin said.

ASCO’s campaign also involves more than a dozen radio news interviews across the country, conversations on social media, and grassroots efforts by the Association’s advocates, which include sending messages to lawmakers through emails and social media posts, adding momentum to the calls for Congress to act on drug shortages.

Contact Your Members of Congress

ASCO encourages you to add your voice. Using the ACT Network, you can urge your members of Congress to take immediate action on drug shortages. You can also join the conversation on social media and tweet at your lawmaker.

Cancer drug shortages are not new, but the recent shortages of carboplatin and cisplatin in the U.S. have been the most severe instances in decades, affecting upwards of a half million people. ASCO’s cancer care advocates have already sent more than 2,700 letters to Capitol Hill urging action on drug shortages this year—join them and make sure your voice is heard! Congress must continue to hear from the cancer care community that lasting change is needed to mitigate future shortages.

Learn more about what ASCO is doing to address drug shortages.

Bookmark ASCO in Action for updates on cancer drug shortages as well as news, advocacy, and analysis on cancer policy.