In the News

National Journal
Erin Durkin

Innovative oral anticancer drugs have provided cancer patients convenient and effective ways to treat their illnesses at home, but with a high price tag. Some patients face out-of-pocket costs of more than $2,000 and are abandoning their prescriptions at the pharmacy counter.

Lawmakers are trying to address the problem by requiring insurance companies to cover cancer drugs taken orally the same way they cover intravenous chemotherapy, which often comes with a smaller hit to a patient’s wallet.

The idea—reintroduced earlier this month by Sens. Jerry Moran and Tina Smith—would make group health plans and health insurance issuers implement the same cost-sharing rate for both oral chemotherapy and IV chemotherapy. Once the policy is in place, insurers would not be able to make changes to increase costs of anticancer medications or place limitations on orally administered drugs.

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