Grail spent more than $1 million last quarter lobbying Congress, underscoring the urgency of the company’s bid to secure Medicare coverage for its pricey blood-based cancer screening test that has been on the market for over a year but is not widely used.
A recently posted lobbying report indicates that, during the fourth quarter of last year, the biotech spent $1.07 million on “issues related to oncology and multi-cancer early detection,” including House and Senate bills that would allow Medicare to cover multi-cancer screening tests. That figure has been rising; during the fourth quarter of 2021, the company spent $470,000 on lobbying. That’s far more than cancer and genetic testing biotechs such as Guardant Health, Myriad Genetics, and Tempus, which spent anywhere from $90,000 to nearly $300,000 on lobbying last quarter.
The growing investment in lobbying elected officials comes at a time when Grail is looking to make its test, Galleri, available to a broader swath of the population. The test, launched in 2021, can detect early signs of more than 50 cancers among people who don’t have symptoms. That’s because cancer cells release bits of DNA into the bloodstream, and Galleri spots telltale modifications to this DNA.
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