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Washington D.C. – Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) of the House Foreign Affairs Committee introduced the Global Hope Act, legislation that will support efforts to help lower childhood cancer mortality rates in developing countries. While most prevalent forms of pediatric cancer are curable with generic medications, children in developing countries lack access to the treatment and care they need to survive. The Global Hope Act will facilitate partnerships between the federal government, the private sector, research institutions, and non-governmental organizations to address this resource gap and decrease pediatric cancer mortality globally.

“With medical advancements we have successfully lowered childhood cancer mortality rates in the United States, but that is not the case in many developing nations where access to these same treatment options just doesn’t exist. The mortality rate for children diagnosed with cancer in these nations is 80%. Tragically, this matches the survival rate in the United States. This is unacceptable, especially given that the most common forms of childhood cancer can be treated with generic medications on the market,” said Lead Republican McCaul. “At the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the federal government partnered with non-governmental organizations and the private sector to create PEPFAR, which has saved over 17 million lives. These strategic investments have created the health infrastructure and host country relationships necessary for childhood cancer efforts to build upon. With cancer as a significant cause of death for children around the world, we must come together once again to improve access to treatment  and fight the scourge of pediatric cancer globally.  A child’s chance of surviving cancer should not be determined by their birthplace. This important legislation will leverage public-private partnerships to improve cancer treatments for children across the developing world and beyond.” 

“Every year, more than 300,000 children are diagnosed with childhood cancer, and their lives are turned upside down. My colleague Ranking Member McCaul has been a longtime champion of improving childhood cancer care, and I am proud to join him in fighting this illness that cuts lives short here in the US and around the world. By leveraging successful US advances in global health and cancer care, this bill provides a path to bring to bear private sector resources to make progress in research and access to treatment that will save lives,” said Chairman Engel.

In September 2018, the World Health Organization announced the Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer that aims to reach at least a 60% survival rate for children with cancer by 2030. The Global Hope Act will support this mission and lower the childhood cancer mortality rate in developing countries by:

  • Supporting efforts to train medical personnel and develop healthcare infrastructure to diagnose, treat, and care for children with cancer
  • Leveraging private sector resources to increase availability of cancer medicines
  • Improving access to affordable medicines and technology that are essential to cancer treatment
  • Coordinating with international partners to expand research efforts to develop affordable cancer medicines and treatments

Over a decade ago, McCaul founded the Childhood Cancer Caucus to give a voice to the nearly 16,000 children diagnosed with cancer annually in the United States. Under Lead Republican McCaul’s leadership, the Childhood Cancer Caucus has successfully led the passage of the Creating Hope Act, RACE for Children Act, and the Childhood Cancer STAR Act. With the introduction of the Global Hope Act, McCaul is expanding his bipartisan initiative to save the lives of children with cancer on a global scale.