Congressman Jon Runyan

WASHINGTON, DC - Soldiers, seniors and low income patients with late-stage prostate cancer all have access to the same high-powered drug treatment approved by the Federal Drug Administration. But not veterans. Shore Representative Jon Runyan (R-NJ) and a bipartisan group in the House is urging the Department of Veterans Affairs to grant access to Provenge.

"Veterans as a group are one of the highest at-risk groups for developing prostate cancer," says Runyan, "and I find it absolutely deplorable that our nation's veterans are being denied treatments that are readily available to other federal health care beneficiaries."

After the link between Agent Orange and other Vietnam-era herbicides was established in 1996, the Veterans Administration changed its stance on vets with prostate cancer who were exposed, determining that they should be placed in a separate class for benefits. It includes the possibility of becoming eligible for disability payments, health care benefits and survivor compensations.

Runyan chairs the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs. He also co-chairs the Congressional Men's Health Caucus and the Prostate Cancer Task Force.

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