Legislation aims to provide coverage under the Medicare program for FDA-approved qualifying colorectal cancer screening blood-based tests
Berlin (Germany) and Germantown, MD (U.S.A.), March 8, 2018 – Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R -WV) and Martin Heinrich (D – NM), today introduced the “Colorectal Cancer Detection Act of 2018” to the United States Senate in Washington D.C. This Senate Bill (S. 2523) is parallel to House Bill (H.R. 1578) ”Donald Payne Sr. Colorectal Cancer Detection Act” introduced by Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D – NJ). These bipartisan initiatives aim to provide payment and coverage under the Medicare program for FDA-approved qualifying colorectal cancer (CRC) screening blood-based tests.
“We offer our strong support for the Capito/Heinrich Colorectal Cancer Detection bill introduced today as this legislation would provide Medicare reimbursement for FDA-approved blood screens for colorectal cancer and change the paradigm when it comes to participation in screening,” said Michael Sapienza, Chief Executive Officer of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. “Medicare reimbursement for these life-saving tests can dramatically improve the screening rate in underserved areas and significantly cut health care costs while saving lives.”
“As a practicing primary care physician, the importance of regular colorectal cancer screening cannot be overemphasized,” said Raymond Nungesser, M.D., Family Medicine Practitioner, Geisinger Health System. “Unfortunately, barriers exist for many of my rural patients. A blood test for colorectal cancer screening addresses those barriers and provides medical professionals with a new tool in the fight against one of the deadliest cancers in the United States.”
“The introduction of the colon cancer screening blood tests addressed the patient barriers associated with colon cancer screening. The Colorectal Cancer Detection Act addresses the last barrier for Medicare patients – payment,” said Greg Hamilton, Chief Executive Offer of Epigenomics AG. “The passing of this bill provides millions of underscreened rural Americans access to colorectal cancer screening and ultimately saves thousands of lives.”
About colorectal cancer (CRC)
The American Cancer Society projects there will be over 140,000 new diagnosed cases of colorectal cancer, and over 50,000 deaths, from colorectal cancer in 2018 in the United States. Colorectal cancer remains the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Although screening and early detection of colorectal cancer can save lives, about 35 percent of eligible U.S. patients are not being regularly screened. While the 5-year survival rate for early colorectal cancer (stage I) is 90%, only four- out-of-ten cases are diagnosed at this early stage. According to the American Cancer Society, this is in part due to the underuse of screening.
About Epi proColon®
Epi proColon is indicated for colorectal cancer screening in average-risk patients who are unwilling or unable to perform colorectal cancer screening by colonoscopy and stool-based methods.
For patients, the test only requires a simple blood sample drawn as part of routine healthcare provider visits. There are no dietary restrictions or alterations in medication required for the test. The sample will be analyzed at a national or regional diagnostic laboratory.
For more information on Epi proColon, visit www.epiprocolon.com.
Epigenomics is a molecular diagnostics company focused on blood-based detection of cancers using its proprietary DNA methylation biomarker technology. The company develops and commercializes diagnostic products across multiple cancer indications with high medical need. Epigenomics’ lead product, Epi proColon, is a blood-based screening test for the detection of colorectal cancer. Epi proColon has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is currently marketed in the United States, Europe, and China and selected other countries. Epi proLung®, a blood-based test for lung cancer detection, has received CE mark in Europe.
For more information, visit www.epigenomics.com.
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