News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Giessel
For Immediate Release: April 14, 2016
Legislature Passes Bill to Improve Access to Cancer Treatment
JUNEAU – Today, the Alaska State Legislature passed SB 142, a bill sponsored by Sen. Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage) requiring equal insurance coverage for anti-cancer medications.
“Oral chemotherapy is sometimes the only option for certain cancer treatments. Patients should not be prohibited from receiving oral cancer treatment due to cost or preferential insurance coverage favoring intravenous forms of treatment,” said Sen. Giessel. “We heard testimony in committee from a patient whose oral cancer medications cost them over $1,200 per month.”
Currently there is a disparity between how anti-cancer medications are treated. Oral chemotherapy treatments are often more effective, easier to administer and allow patients to stay in their communities for treatment. However, the oral treatments are more expensive than their intravenous counterpart.
The bill ensures that both intravenous and orally administered cancer treatments are equally covered and available to patients.
The bill drew bi-partisan support on both the Senate and House side and will soon be sent to the Governor’s office for his signature.
For more information, please contact Kari Nore in Sen. Giessel’s office at (907) 465-4843.
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