Gov. Wolf to sign bill requiring insurance parity for chemo pills

Written by The Associated Press | Jul 1, 2016 9:33 AM

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Harrisburg) -- Governor Tom Wolf's office says he'll sign legislation that would require cancer patients in Pennsylvania to get the same insurance coverage for certain oral drugs as for intravenous medications.  

The bill has passed both chambers of the Legislature unanimously.

Such chemotherapy parity laws are on the books in 40 other states, according to the American Cancer Society.

Advocates say cancer pills help patients continue working and traveling without having to go for IV treatments. 

The measure's sponsor, Representative Matt Baker of Tioga County, says health insurers typically require patients to pay a small fixed co-payment for intravenous anti-cancer medications. 

But he says insurers often require patients to pay between $1,400 and $3,500 per month for oral anti-cancer medications.

The Republican lawmaker says that makes it financially difficult for patients to follow their doctor's prescribed course of treatment.  

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