CONTACT: Lori Gardner, Senior Director
Communications & Marketing
301.984.9496 ext. 226
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 15, 2015
ACCC Applauds Bipartisan, Bicameral Effort to Ease Financial Burden for Cancer Patients
ROCKVILLE, Md.—The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) applauds Senators Franken (D–MN) and Kirk (R–IL) and Congressmen Higgins (D–NY) and Lance (R–NJ) for introducing companion bills, S 1566/ HR 2739, last week to equalize out–of–pocket costs for cancer patients choosing between oral and intravenous (IV) chemotherapy therapies. This bipartisan, bicameral effort would require health plans to provide equally favorable coverage for orally–administered anticancer medications, preserving the physician–patient ability to choose the right course of treatment for the patient.
ACCC has long advocated for oral parity legislation on the federal and state level. Most recently, ACCC members urged their elected representatives to re–introduce oral parity legislation during the ACCC Capitol Hill Day in March.
As an estimated 25–35 percent of therapies in the oncology pipeline will only be available in pill form, the Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act of 2015 (S 1566/HR 2739) is a critical effort to address outdated health plan benefit designs that often require astronomical out–of–pocket costs for oral chemotherapy.
Thirty–nine states have enacted oral parity laws; federal legislation is imperative to ensure that the implementation of these laws is consistent throughout the country and that insurance plans that fall outside the purview of state regulation are included.
We urge legislators to join their colleagues in supporting legislation that is critical to allowing patients to focus on fighting cancer, rather than how to pay for their care.