A bill was been filed in the House yesterday in a bi-partisan effort to meet the vital needs of many North Carolinians by improving access to life saving oral cancer medications, some of which are the most effective medications on the market today.
Innovation in the pharmaceutical industry has led to effective medications that were once available only by IV treatment now available in pill form. In addition to these oral chemotherapies being effective methods of treatment, they also provide a tangible improvement to a patient’s quality of life. The ease and convenience of taking oral medication on a schedule is preferable to the time consuming process of hospitalization for intravenous medical treatment.
The goal of House Bill 206, the “North Carolina Cancer Treatment Fairness Act,” is to provide parity for insurance customers when deciding treatment options. In some cases, oral treatment is the only available therapy. Out of pocket expenses for patients prescribed an oral cancer treatment regime are cost prohibitive. In fact, studies show that out of pocket costs greater than $200 were at least three times more likely to choose not to fill their prescriptions than those with costs of $100 or less.