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Guthrie Introduces Bipartisan Cancer Drug Parity Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02), along with Representatives Brian Higgins (D -NY-26), Doris Matsui (D-CA-6) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12) this week introduced the Cancer Drug Parity Act, a bipartisan bill that would require health insurance plans that cover intravenous cancer treatments to also equally cover orally administered cancer medications.

“Due to great innovation, many cancer treatments can now be taken orally by a patient themselves, and I believe we must ensure these patients have full access to these important drugs,” said Guthrie. “Americans suffering from cancer should not have to choose between one treatment option or another based on how their insurance classifies each treatment. The Cancer Drug Parity Act will fix the discrepancy between cancer treatment drugs that are orally administered and those that are intravenously or injected and will allow patients and doctors to choose the treatment that is right and most effective for them.”

Oral chemotherapy is increasingly becoming a standard treatment option for cancer doctors and patients. However, insurance coverage for cancer treatment has not kept up with science. Under current law, traditional IV/injectable treatments are routinely covered under the medical benefit component of a health insurance plan, while orally-administered anti-cancer medications are generally covered under the prescription drug component, which often results in a considerable disparity in cost.

Organizations supporting the bill include: AIM at Melanoma, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Society of Hematology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation, Association of Community Cancer Centers, Association of American Cancer Institutes, Cancer Support Community, Community Oncology Alliance, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer, Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE), Fight Colorectal Cancer, International Myeloma Foundation, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Lymphoma Research Foundation, National Brain Tumor Society, National Patient Advocate Foundation, Oncology Nursing Society, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, Patient Services, Inc., Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Susan G. Komen, Takeda Oncology, Zero – The End of Prostate Cancer, and the Patients Equal Access Coalition.