On the heels of the first-ever Glioblastoma Awareness Day (#GBMDay) in the United States, we’ve received some terrific news for patients that is a direct result of the brain tumor community’s advocacy efforts.
As you know, there are only four drugs and one device currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of glioblastoma (GBM). The device, known as Tumor Treatment Field Therapy (or TTFT), had not previously been covered for patients receiving their health insurance through Medicare.
National Brain Tumor Society, along with patients, physicians, and other brain tumor advocacy organizations, testified and submitted written comments on June 20th to support coverage of this FDA-approved treatment during a meeting with the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). It was, and is, the National Brain Tumor Society’s position that glioblastoma patients should have affordable access to this treatment if they choose to use the TTFT device as part of their treatment, especially as the device is now part of the standard of care for GBM.
Medicare’s decision is a patient advocacy win! This coverage determination will help patients access potentially life-extending treatment while reducing affordability as a barrier to glioblastoma care.
A special thank you to Maryland advocate Jennifer Sebor for attending the meeting on behalf of her fellow patients around the country and officially representing NBTS. The new Medicare policy for covering TTFT will go into effect on September 1, 2019.
The coverage determination and a summary response to comments are available in the CMS coverage database.