Missouri Lawmakers Seek Change In Coverage Of Anti-Cancer Drugs

Photo courtesy of Creative commons
Photo courtesy of Creative commons

A bill filed in the Missouri Legislature seeks to bar insurance companies from charging higher out-of-pocket costs for oral anti-cancer drugs than for intravenous medications.

Supporters of the bill say oral chemotherapy is more convenient and has fewer negative side effects than intravenous treatment. But while intravenous chemotherapy is generally covered as a medical benefit, the oral alternative is usually viewed as a pharmacy benefit, meaning patients who opt for chemotherapy pills tend to face higher costs.

To address that issue, Rep. Sheila Solon, R-Blue Springs, has introduced a bill that would require “parity” for oral and intravenous treatments. Similar bills have been killed in the past by opposition from insurance companies. But Solon’s bill has the backing of a bipartisan group of 52 co-sponsors, and she said she’s hopeful about its chances.

Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have passed similar measures.

Read more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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