Friday Frontline: July 12, 2019


From Trump’s executive order regarding drug prices to today’s top performers and athletes, here’s what is making headlines in the cancer space this week.

President Donald J. Trump has announced the administration is preparing an executive order declaring a “favored nations clause” for drug prices. Under this system, patients in the United States would have to pay no more than the country with the lowest prescription drug prices available.

“As you know for years and years other nations pay less for drugs than we do,” Trump said. “We’re working on a favored nations clause, where we pay whatever the lowest nation’s price is. Why should other nations — like Canada — why should other nations pay less than us? ”

“Favored nations” is a contract provision term used in health law in which health care providers agree to give one patient the best terms and prices for services it makes available to any other patient. The Trump administration and Democrats in Congress are trying to collaborate to bring more transparency to drug prices, reported CNBC, with the goal of eventually lowering drug prices for patients.

Actress, singer and three-time breast cancer survivor Olivia Newton-John, 70, has decided to auction off her wardrobe of over 200 famous costumes, including her all-black “Sandy” outfit from “Grease” to support cancer research. The auction will be run by Julien’s Auctions and is set to take place in Beverly Hills and online on Nov. 2.

Other famous pieces up for auction include Newton-John’s “Grease” Pink Ladies jacket and pants, Xanadu boots, and her “Physical” outfits. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia — a public hospital that treats patients with cancer, conducts research and clinical trials.

“I don’t feel I’m parting with (the costume),” Newton-John told Page Six Style. “I have a photograph of them, which is probably better than having it in the closet, and I feel like I’ve had my time with them. I’m happy that it’s going to go to people that will enjoy it.”

Photo by Liam Mendes

Former independent presidential candidate Ross Perot has died at age 89 after a five-month battle with leukemia, according to CNBC. The billionaire businessman, technology entrepreneur and humanitarian ran for president in 1992 and 1996.

“In business and in life, Ross was a man of integrity and action,” said James Fuller, a representative for the Perot family. “A true American patriot and a man of rare vision, principle and deep compassion, he touched the lives of countless people through his unwavering support of the military and veterans and through his charitable endeavors,” Fuller said in a statement.

Perot is survived by his wife, Margot, five children and 16 grandchildren.

Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco, 32, who received a diagnosis of chronic myeloid leukemia last month, spoke out to the media on Thursday for the first time since his diagnosis. The Indians pitcher said he plans to “push (himself) to work through this.”

“When I found out, it made me even stronger,” said Carrasco, in a video made by the Indians. “I’m going to push myself to work through this. I have a lot of people behind me helping me. Especially my teammates and family.”

A release from the Indians on July 7 stated that Carrasco was evaluated on June 2 at the Cleveland Clinic and, “was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a treatable form of leukemia, and has since been cleared to resume strength and conditioning workouts and throwing activity to tolerance. He is being re-evaluated regularly and there is no timetable for a return to baseball game activity.”

The Indians pitcher has dealt with several other health issues and injuries throughout his baseball career, including non-invasive heart surgery in 2015; being hit by line drives on two occasions, resulting in a broken pitching hand in 2016 and a severely bruised elbow in 2018.

Carrasco continues to stay positive. "I never put anything bad on my mind," Carrasco said. "Everything's good. So, I don't feel different. I just push myself to work more and get stronger."

Photo by furnstein on Flickr

A Liverpool mother of two credits her 1-year-old son, who suddenly started refusing to breastfeed from her right side, for helping her catch her tumor. Joanne Carr, 37, said she breastfed her son, Dougie, since birth without any issue. At about 14 months, Carr noticed her son began rejecting her right breast. This prompted her to examine herself, and sure enough, a pea-sized lump was discovered and diagnosed as cancerous by her doctors.

Carr, now cancer-free, refers to her son as her “guardian angel” and said she never would have found the lump had it not been for her son’s refusal of her cancerous breast.

“The doctor said it’s very strange what Dougie did,” said Carr. “He must have known somehow. He was looking out for me. I know I wouldn’t have checked if it wasn’t for him.”

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