Oral Parity: Increasing Access to Life-Saving Treatments

Rep. Sue Allen
Rep. Sue Allen

JEFFERSON CITY, MO— Representative Sue Allen (R-100) has co-sponsored legislation addressing the co-payment cost disparity between orally- and intravenously-administered chemotherapies.

Currently, cancer patients in Missouri can be forced to choose between the chemotherapy that is fully covered by their insurance and the chemotherapy that is best for their particular situation. House Bill 1327, sponsored by Representative Sheila Solon (R-31), would bring insurance coverage parity to both forms of chemotherapy by requiring plans to cover oral chemotherapy products if they already cover traditional chemotherapies.

In addition to House Bill 1327, Senators Munzlinger and Silvey proposed Senate Bills 663 and 668 respectively to require oral chemotherapy parity.

“When cancer patients are fighting for their lives, they should have access to every possible option for effective treatment,” Allen said. “If a doctor believes that an orally-administered chemotherapy drug will be better for a patient, or will have fewer debilitating side effects, that medication needs to be available and affordable for the individual.”

On January 14, Allen and the American Legislative Exchange Council organized an educational event for members of the General Assembly to discuss oral chemotherapy parity. Brian Rosen of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Oklahoma State Senator Greg Treat discussed innovations in medication and Oklahoma’s experience passing oral parity legislation.

“It was encouraging to see so many representatives and senators at the oral parity event,” Allen said. “I look forward to working with them to ensure that live-saving medication, no matter how it is administered, is available to Missourians.”

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