Let's Put Cancer Patients First


  • State Senator Ralph E. Hise Jr.


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Dear [Decision Maker],

As a North Carolina resident, I am asking you to please pass the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act, H306.

This legislation would update insurance laws so that regardless of the method of chemotherapy, the out-of-pocket cost to patients would be similar. It would eliminate the cost disparity between oral chemotherapy and IV injected or infused chemotherapies.

The benefits of oral chemotherapy fairness far outweigh any possible negatives:

1. Prime Therapeutics, a pharmacy benefits manager wholly owned by 13 Blue Cross Blue Shield plans across the country (including BCBS - NC) "studied claims from 7 million members across eight BCBS plans" and concluded: "Saving pharmacy dollars at the expense of greater medical costs is not an effective cost management strategy."

2. Oral anti-cancer treatments are not inherently costlier than IV treatments. For metastatic breast cancer patients, the cost of oral chemotherapy is $35,842 annually compared to $43,353 for IV chemotherapy.

3. Oral chemo fairness is not simply about a pill vs- a needle. It is about a pill vs- all costs associated with IV delivery including: the drug, needle, chair, nurse, as well as the increased likelihood of follow-up visits and potential complications.

4. Studies conducted in states that have oral chemotherapy fairness laws have concluded that any raises in health insurance premiums have been negligible.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is working on oral chemotherapy legislation to remove the coverage disparity between oral chemotherapies to ensure cancer patients receive the best treatment option for their particular cancer diagnosis. We don't want cancer patients' choosing between spending their life's savings and saving their lives.

Please allow H306, the North Carolina Cancer Treatment Fairness Act, to move through the legislative process and be voted up or down based on the merits of the legislation. Cancer patients already have enough on their minds without having to worry about whether they can afford the best treatment possible.

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