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Topics Alert Archive

Alert Number 271

Hearing Patients' Voices

January 12, 2008

Back in November, 2007 (Alert # 263), we wrote and asked your help in keeping radioimmunotherapy (RIT) drugs such as Bexxar and Zevalin available to CLL patients.   Radioimmunotherapy is Underappreciated
Reimbursement cuts may sink RIT
Bexxar trial for CLL

Our efforts to mobilize patient support for these two important drugs have been very successful. I thought you would like to see the attached letter from Senator Barbara Boxer, typical of the responses many of our members got from their senators and congressional representatives.  Once in a while, it is nice to see democracy at work, our representatives actually taking the time to listen and respond to what is important to us.

Future generations of patients will thank you for your help with this effort.  With this success under our belt, I am more optimistic about our voices having an impact in the future, when crucial drugs come in front of the FDA for approval.  Humax-CD20 should be coming up for its day in court fairly soon…

Be well,



Dear xxxxxx:

Thank you for contacting my office to express your views on the proposed ruling considered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals drugs such as Bexxar and Zevalin. I am pleased to inform you that Congress has extended the current Medicare reimbursement rates for therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals for the next six months. This will allow CMS and drug manufacturers time to adjust the current reimbursement rates to accurately reflect the true hospital costs of the therapy without interrupting the treatment of patients.
I believe that all citizens should become involved in the legislative process by letting their voices be heard, and I appreciate the time and effort that you took to share your thoughts with me. One of the most important aspects of my job is keeping informed about the views of my constituents, and I welcome your comments so that I may continue to represent California to the best of my ability. Should I have the opportunity to consider legislation on this or similar issues, I will keep your views in mind.

For additional information about my activities in the U.S. Senate, please visit my website, From this site, you can access statements and press releases that I have issued about current events and pending legislation, request copies of legislation and government reports, and receive detailed information about the many services that I am privileged to provide for my constituents. You may also wish to visit to track current and past legislation.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I appreciate hearing from you.

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator


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