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States continue to push equitable coverage for oral chemotherapy

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States continue to push equitable coverage for oral chemotherapy

While I was in San Diego at ASH, I covered an IMF activist training meeting.

The primary goal of the group was to prepare to help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) work for passage of a variety of state and Federal legislation, all centering around the cost disparities between infusion and oral chemotherapy Medicare and private insurance coverage.

Here is a link-back to an article I wrote about the meeting:

IMF and LLS pushing hard for passage of the Cancer Coverage Parity Act

I bring this up today because I just read an excellent article on the subject in the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, written by a young physician, Dr. Don Benson with Ohio State University.

I feel that Dr. Benson does an excellent job explaining why it isn’t fair for patients to pay more for a chemotherapy pill than medication administered by IV.

He ends his column this way:

“Ohio should join the 14 states that already have passed oral-chemotherapy equity statutes…”

Amen to that, Dr. Benson!

He also explains how the Ohio bill covers something they call “brown bagging.”  This is when an insurance carrier forces policy holders to order their regular prescriptions by mail, through the insurance company.

I am experiencing this now myself.  Cigna Insurance required I order any meds that I use regularly (warfarin, gabepentin) through their mail order pharmacy–or the company won’t pay.

Apparently this Ohio bill outlaws that practice as well.  There are a number of concerns about the practice, including how sending drugs by mail isn’t a very secure way to distribute meds.

Why not?  Sounds like a good idea to me…

Click-on the headline link below to access his January 14th article:

Cancer drugs should be treated equally

If we all work together, maybe we can make a difference.  Slow as it is, the IMF and LLS do seem to be making some progress.

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat