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cancer drug parity act

We Support the Cancer Drug Parity Act

Cancer Drug Parity Act 2019

Triage Cancer recently sent a letter of support for the Cancer Drug Parity Act 2019, which would reduce health care costs for cancer patients by requiring insurance companies to cover orally administered chemotherapy drugs in the same way as intravenous (IV) chemotherapy. Oral chemo often comes with high out-of-pocket costs for patients.

As per – H.R.1730 – Cancer Drug Parity Act of 2019

The bill requires health plans that cover anticancer medications administered by a health care provider to provide no less favorable cost sharing for patient-administered anticancer medications. This requirement applies to medications

(1) approved by the Food and Drug Administration;

(2) medically necessary for the cancer treatment;

(3) clinically appropriate in terms of type, frequency, extent site, and duration.

As patient advocates in the cancer community, it is our mission to help people understand how the law and proposed legislative may impact the cancer community.{Refer – Cancer Advocacy resources}

We strongly believe this bill would help to relieve the financial toxicity of a cancer diagnosis, by holding insurance companies accountable for unbalanced out-of-pocket costs. Furthermore, the option to receive medications that can be self-administered outside of a hospital, in one’s own home or even at work, could exponentially increase quality of life and decrease other burdens; loss of work income, transportation, cost of hospital stays, and more.

The Cancer Drug Parity Act 2019 would prevent insurers from covering oral and self-administered medicines at different cost-sharing rates than traditional IV chemotherapy. As leaders in the community who educate people on how to navigate their insurance coverage, we know that few people understand the financial burden of a cancer diagnosis until they are having trouble simply getting affordable medications, for example.

Some states already have this protection, but the laws vary widely and this bill would make it federal law. Have you seen our chart on oral chemo parity state laws? Find out the current laws in your state.

Interested in this issue? Learn how you can get more involved in legislative advocacy efforts I the cancer community on our cancer advocacy Page. We also have cancer resources on how to contact elected officials, as well as how to find federal and state legislative information.

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Samantha Skelton
ss@triagecancer.org