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Men's Health Policy Center Hosts Petition to Protest Government Barrier to Prostate Cancer Medications
Date:3/27/2008

WASHINGTON, March 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Men's Health Policy Center, a new resource center affiliated with the Men's Health Network (MHN), announced today that they are hosting an online petition urging Congress to end a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) practice that unfairly restricts prostate cancer patients' access to drug therapies.

"This petition allows people who are impacted by prostate cancer to raise their united voices and let their Congressional leaders know that they are opposed to this policy," said Theresa Morrow, Director of Marketing and External Relations for MHN. "In order to ensure the best quality of life, prostate cancer patients should be treated according to the most effective treatment for them as determined by their physician and not according to what is cheapest."

The policy, known as "least costly alternative" (LCA), allows CMS to deny the additional payment for certain cancer therapies based solely on cost with no consideration for the clinical recommendations given by a patient's own physician. Groups such as the National Prostate Cancer Coalition, the Prostate Health Education Network, and Us TOO have also urged Congress and the Administration to drop the LCA policy for prostate cancer therapies.

"As a prostate cancer survivor, I struggle daily with the emotional and financial ramifications of my illness, and the last thing I need to worry about is how to pay for the care that's best for me. I believe all men should have access to the full range of treatments available without the federal government coming in between my doctor and me," said William Palos, a survivor from Illinois. "With nearly 200,000 men diagnosed with this disease each year, I don't think we should be singled out and forced to settle for substandard care."

Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among men and is the second leading cause of cancer death among men. This cancer disproportionately affects the elderly and African-American men. According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 5,700 African-American men die from prostate cancer each year with a death rate that is 2.4 times higher than white men.

The petition urges Congress to demand the reversal of the use of LCA for prostate cancer drug therapies to ensure patients have access to vital drug treatments.

To view the petition, go to the Men's Health Policy Center website at: http://www.menshealthpolicy.com/advocacy/lcaPetition.php

Men's Health Policy Center (MHPC) is a public policy resource center, affiliated with Men's Health Network, that enables readers to better understand complex issues and advocate for the health and well being of men and their families.

Our goal is to improve the lives of every person by providing him or her with the tools necessary to make change. MHPC empowers individuals by offering strategies and tools that are helpful in advocating for better men's health. On federal and state levels of government, we offer information about key legislation and government initiatives. MHPC provides coverage of the legislative process, and the impact it will have on men and their families. As a part of that process, MHPC will periodically host letter-writing campaigns for individuals to voice their concern about key issues.


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SOURCE Men's Health Network
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