National Patient Advocate Foundation Advocates for NC Cancer Treatment Fairness Act

Apr 23, 2013, 14:48 ET from National Patient Advocate Foundation

RALEIGH, N.C., April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today Jen Johns, Associate Director of State Government Relations for the National Patient Advocate Foundation, testified in front of the North Carolina House and Human Services Committee in support of H 609, the North Carolina Cancer Treatment Fairness Act.

The committee approved the legislation passed by unanimous vote. If enacted, it would eliminate the disparity in out-of-pocket cost to patients between oral chemotherapy and IV injected or infused chemotherapies, making oral anti-cancer drugs more affordable.

"In none of the 23 states or the District of Columbia where this type of legislation has been enacted has the insurance industry or any of its member companies attempted to repeal or even modify it," said Johns. "The bottom line is that this legislation works. We appreciate the efforts of Representative Lewis to bring this good legislation forward."

National Patient Advocate Foundation and its sister organization, the Patient Advocate Foundation, supports the legislation for five primary reasons:

  1. The current financial burden on patients and their families is enormous. In many cases, out-of-pocket costs for oral anti-cancer medications range between $2,000 and $7,000 per month.
  2. The physical implications on patients and their families are hard hitting. Intravenously administered anti-cancer drugs can require numerous hospital or in-office visits. Patients typically experience decreases in income because of loss of work time, and issues related to mobility, childcare, and transportation. Oral anti-cancer medications reduce hospital time by up to two thirds.
  3. We believe that it will have the effect of reducing overall health care costs. Sicker patients require more expensive care costing between $6,000 to upwards of $10,000 per day. Providing access to essential medications will keep patients healthier longer and have the effect of reducing health care costs.
  4. This legislation is NOT a mandate. It simply establishes equity in patients' out-of-pocket costs for anti-cancer medications. A recent national study and reports from states where this legislation has been passed all confirm that the impact on insurance rates has been and will be negligible.
  5. It is the right thing to do. This legislation will greatly enhance the medical care and the quality of life for many patients in North Carolina.

SOURCE National Patient Advocate Foundation