We support the A.C.T. for ALS Act (H.R. 7071) and believe it should be strengthened by helping fund ALS research and by ensuring people with ALS in clinical trials can continue receiving treatments that may be helping them. We believe these steps will help improve its chances for passage and ensure it helps even more people with ALS.
The ALS Association strongly supports initiatives to enable people with ALS to access promising treatments as soon as possible, including prior to FDA approval. Our primary goal is to facilitate the development of effective treatments and help support delivery to everyone with ALS as soon as possible.
Not to be deterred by the COVID-19 pandemic, ALS Association advocates from across the country held more than 350 virtual meetings with members of Congress Tuesday, adapting the Association’s longstanding annual Advocacy Conference to ensure the safety of participants. Historically, upwards of 600 ALS advocates gather in the nation’s capital for days of face-to-face meetings with their elected representatives in the Congress and the Senate.
The ALS Association joined with 32 consumer and patient advocacy organizations in calling on Congress to enact legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that protects and expands access to quality, affordable health insurance.
The Medicare program at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services removed noninvasive ventilators from competitive bidding for durable medical equipment. The decision will keep the devices out of competitive bidding for at least three years and is a victory for ALS advocates. The ALS Association and its partners have led an intense lobbying campaign against competitive bidding for noninvasive ventilators for more than a year. The Medicare program cited COVID-19 in announcing the move.
With congressional leaders scheduled to begin work on additional stimulus legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The ALS Association is continuing to push to include protecting access to noninvasive ventilators (NIV) and to making sure people with ALS can access their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in the coronavirus response packages.
ALS Association chapter executives from across the country held more than 250 meetings with members of Congress Wednesday as part of the Association’s annual “fly in” advocacy push. While the meetings generally occur in-person in Washington, D.C., this year’s discussions shifted to virtual platforms in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and emerging social distancing and shelter in place rules across the country.
Letter to Congress calls for swift action to expand access to health care and facilitate social distancing. The ALS Association cosigned a letter with 27 patient and consumer organizations calling on Congress to act decisively to slow the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, particularly among vulnerable populations.
We are getting enthusiastic feedback and questions about our partnership with Project ALS to fund a clinical research project for jacifusen, an experimental therapy being developed at Columbia University’s Eleanor and Lou Gehrig ALS Center for FUS-associated ALS. We thought it would be helpful to describe the strategy underlying the project.
Tommy May, a member of The ALS Association National Board of Trustees, published a column in Morning Consult, a leading digital media platform among lawmakers, today urging Congress to protect access to noninvasive ventilators. May was diagnosed with ALS in 2005. He has used a ventilator since 2013 when his disease progression made it difficult for him to breathe on his own.
The ALS Association and 23 partners that represent millions of patients across the country released a statement strongly supporting the petitions filed today by state attorneys general and by the U.S. House of Representatives that seek expedited U.S. Supreme Court review of last month’s Texas v. United States ruling. The ruling endangers patient access to adequate, accessible and affordable health care.
Court Ruling leaves Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) provisions in place, including protections for pre-existing conditions for people with ALS and other Americans. But the court keeps the long-term future of ACA in limbo.
A 2020 federal spending agreement reached Monday between House and Senate negotiators would fully fund key spending priorities of The ALS Association and its advocates. ALS advocates have sent 13,800 letters and 3,600 tweets, and held more than 700 meetings in the past year to secure full federal funding of ALS research.
With many ALS drugs now in phase II and III clinical trials, The ALS Association is considering strategies that will ensure any new treatments are accessible and affordable. We used our second ALS Roundtable to explore several important questions for our community including: How will these new therapies get paid for? How can people access to them? How long will it take to get access?
The ALS Association submitted a report to the FDA documenting the real impact ALS has on people living with the disease and their caregivers in order to inform the development of treatments. The information in the report draws from a survey of people living with ALS.
The ALS Association and its partners submitted comments to the Food and Drug Administration to further inform the agency’s implementation of the final guidance on the development of drugs and treatments for ALS. The comments underscore the need for urgency and commend the FDA for including voices from our community in its rulemaking process. Click here to view the comments.
A bill championed by The ALS Association was introduced in Congress today that would remove noninvasive ventilators from Medicare’s competitive bidding program. Reps. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Gus Bilirakis (R-Fl.), John Larson (D-Ct.), and Darren Soto (D-Fl.) have introduced H.R.4945, the Safeguarding Medicare Access to Respiratory Therapy (SMART) Act of 2019.
A coalition of patient, clinician, and provider groups – including the ALS Association, the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), the National Association for Medical Direction of Respiratory Care (NAMDRC), American Association for Homecare (AAHC), and the Council for Respiratory Care (CQRC) – today commend Representatives Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Peter Welch (D-VT) for introducing legislation to protect Medicare beneficiaries’ access to critical home ventilation therapy. The Safeguarding Medicare Access to Respiratory Therapy (SMART) Act of 2019 would delay the inclusion of ventilators from the Medicare durable medical equipment competitive bidding program for five years, and establish a technical expert panel (TEP) to update that national coverage policies for home mechanical ventilator devices so that they reflect technological advancements and peer-reviewed science.
Last week Congress passed, and the president signed, a continuing resolution that will fund all federal programs at current levels through November 21. Before the continuing resolution expires, Congress must either pass full appropriations bills for the 2020 fiscal year or pass another continuing resolution.
On Monday, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a finalized ALS Drug Development Guidance for Industry. This is one important step in comprehensive efforts to bring therapies to people with ALS more quickly. Five years ago, there was no clarity around what the FDA expected from companies pursuing ALS treatments. The ALS Association recognized this problem, galvanized the broader community, and engaged the FDA to provide a clear roadmap that also can respond to new science as it emerges. The FDA Guidance is one part of a commitment that will not be complete until we have a cure for all people with ALS.