As the 21st Century Cures Act approaches its 4th anniversary, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) convened a working group made up of multidisciplinary experts from across the country to analyze current issues related to the 21st Century Cures Act and to develop recommendations for future policy improvements. The Co-Chairs of the working group—Jeff Allen, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Friends of Cancer Research, and Ronald S. Walters, MD, MBA, MHA, MS, NCCN Board Chair and Breast Medical Oncologist at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center—presented the following recommendations:
- Provide robust, sustained, and predictable annual funding increases to guarantee continued clinical advancements and clinical trial success.
- Encourage increased interagency collaboration and communication to enhance the oncology product approval process and benefit future coverage processes.
- Establish parameters for the use of real-world data, including patient-reported outcomes, postmarket analysis, and the representation of diverse population groups to leverage the use of real-world evidence.
- Encourage and incentivize widespread patient participation in clinical trials to increase diverse study populations.
- Build upon the regulations of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to expand available standardized data elements in a manner that is actionable to patients and providers.
- Promote policies and reimbursement mechanisms that support interoperability and encourage the aggregation of patient data that will promote shared decision-making and increase understanding between patients, providers, and payers.
- Maintain and increase advancements made during the COVID-19 pandemic to enhance patient access to telehealth services and increase access to tumor boards to improve patient care.