Passage of HR 1409, Cancer Drug Parity Act

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Traditionally, intravenous (IV) and injected treatments, which are covered under a health plan's medical benefit where the patient is only required to pay a small office visit co-pay, were the primary methods of chemotherapy delivery.  Today, patient-administered anticancer medications - including oral drugs as well as patient self-injectable drugs - have become more prevalent and are the standard of care for many types of blood cancer.  However, these drugs are typically covered under the pharmacy benefit of most insurance plans, often with extremely high and unmanageable co-pays.  As a result, these patient-administered treatments are much more expensive, harder to obtain, and inaccessible for many cancer patients.

 The bipartisan Cancer Drug Parity Act, H.R. 1409 would ensure equality of access and insurance coverage for all anti-cancer regimens. The bill would require any health plan that provides coverage for cancer chemotherapy treatment to provide coverage for orally administered and self-injectable anticancer medications at a cost no less favorable than the cost of IV, port administered, or injected anticancer medications. The Cancer Drug Parity Act would not be a mandate as it only applies to health plans that already cover chemotherapy.

 I urge you to pass the Cancer Drug Parity Act.

 Thank you for your interest in this issue and we appreciate your support.



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