On June 22, NBCC President Fran Visco testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense to ask members of the Subcommittee to continue to fund the Department of Defense peer reviewed Breast Cancer Research Program (DOD BCRP) for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012.
“To continue the success of the program, you must ensure that it maintain its integrity and separate identity, in addition to level funding,” said Visco in her testimony. “This is important not just for breast cancer, but for all biomedical research that has benefited from this incredible government program.”
Visco told the Subcommittee members that the American public can truly be proud of its investment in the DOD BCRP. “Scientific achievements that are the direct result of the DOD BCRP grants are undoubtedly moving us closer to eradicating breast cancer,” Visco said. She further added that “The National Breast Cancer Coalition is strongly committed to the DOD BCRP in every aspect, as we truly believe it is one of our best chances for reaching Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®’s goal of ending the disease by the end of the decade.”
NBCC’s Vice President Christine Brunswick, spoke at the FDA hearing to consider its decision to withdraw the breast cancer indication from the Avastin label. Brunswick told the panel, "The drug does raise false expectations and does detract from focusing on other research that may produce effective and lifesaving drugs."
Since 2008, the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) has argued that accelerated approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for bevacizumab (Avastin®) was lowering the bar on drug approval. Based on the results of randomized clinical trials, there is no evidence the drug extends the lives of breast cancer patients, however evidence indicates it increased the risk of harm.
Brunswick applauded the FDA for responding to this scientific evidence in the face of significant political and public pressure. “We applaud the FDA for not lowering the bar on the public’s health and for living up to its role in assuring patients’ access to effective treatment. The FDA’s decision further emphasizes the urgency of NBCC’s Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®, which raises the bar as it aims to harness and refocus breast cancer resources toward ending this disease by January 1, 2020. This is what we deserve. Let's change the conversation.”
The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® Action Network held its inaugural meeting on Monday, June 27 at the Newton Marriott. The group heard NBCC President Fran Visco present details about Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®—the strategy, action plans and opportunities to be engaged (and engage others) in the movement locally. Participants began to strategize ways they can implement network actions throughout Massachusetts. Additional meetings and outreach are being planned.
If you weren’t at the meeting but want to be a member of the Network, please fill out a quick survey on our website and we’ll keep you informed.
In the meantime, we encourage you and your friends to stay connected by joining the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® Action Network group on Facebook. You also can reach us by email at MAActionNetwork@BreastCancerDeadline2020.org.
Every face counts. Every face shows the world that real people support Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®. Get On the Clock!