A Win for Ohio Cancer Patients

June 3, 2014

A big win for cancer patients across the Buckeye state!  On Tuesday, June 3, the Ohio House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 99 which allows equal benefit coverage of cancer drugs. This means that patients who are prescribed an orally administered cancer medication will receive as much coverage by their insurance as they would for IV administered cancer medications.

“When facing a cancer diagnosis, patients shouldn’t be put in a position where they have to make decisions on their treatment options based on the price tag of the medications that give them the best chance at saving or prolonging their life. That is what Ohio cancer patients have been facing for the several years we have been working on this bill,” said Julie McMahon, director of mission at Komen Columbus, “We are so thrilled that the women and men facing cancer in Ohio will have the peace of mind that whatever decisions they find are best for them regarding their treatment will be covered fairly by their insurance.”

This victory has been at least three years in the making with the leadership of Senators Scott Oelslager (R) and Charleta B. Tavares (D), along with the collaborative efforts of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Cancer Support Community, International Myeloma Foundation and all the Ohio Susan G. Komen Affiliates. We also want to thank more than 385 Komen supporters who helped the cause by writing letters to their House or Senate representatives through our e-alerts.

oral-chemo-access-map-mayOhio is now the 34th state to pass an oral chemotherapy access law. The bill will go into effect January 1, 2015.

This bill is important because more than a quarter of the anti-cancer drugs in the research pipeline today are intended as oral drugs. Unfortunately, insurance practices have not kept up with advancements in science. Now, SB99 allows patients and their doctors to review the best possible treatment options based on what is best for the patient- not a price tag of treatment.

Learn more about SB99.
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