Navigation Links
National Patient Advocate Foundation Responds to N.C. State House Approval of Flawed Cancer Treatment Fairness Bill

RALEIGH, N.C., May 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the National Patient Advocate Foundation acknowledges that the North Carolina House of Representatives recently approved a bill that would prohibit insurers who offer coverage for chemotherapy from charging patients higher out-of-pocket fees for newer, more expensive oral anti-cancer drugs than for IV formularies, many of which have more severe side-effects. However, the bill was amended to include a maximum out-of-pocket limit of $300, which will continue to be a barrier to patients with cancer and in need of essential life saving medications. NPAF urges North Carolina's senators to approve legislation that would require insurers to offer parity in the cost of anti-cancer medications by removing the $300 requirement.

"The method in which the drug or the treatment is delivered needs to be treated with parity," said sponsor Rep. David Lewis , R-Harnett. "That means it needs to cost the same."

Despite the increasing availability of oral chemotherapy drugs providing greater comfort and convenience for cancer patients, many health insurance plans often cover oral chemotherapy drugs under prescription drug coverage, which is generally not financially feasible as coverage for IV drugs. Many cancer patients opt to undergo inconvenient and physically difficult IV treatments at a facility because they cannot afford orally administered chemotherapy drugs. Though NPAF is in support of the N.C. Cancer Treatment Fairness Act as originally written, the organization does not support amended language that changes the original bill and sets a $300 out-of-pocket maximum per filled prescription of an oral cancer drug in addition to delaying the implementation date to January, 2015. North Carolina's senators now have an opportunity to correct the problematic amendment language.

"This out of pocket maximum is simply too high," said NPAF President Nancy Davenport-Ellis . "Many of these patients in need of life saving medications are dependent on more than one particular drug to treat their illness. So the new language in the bill requiring an out-of-pocket co-pay of $300 actually escalates very quickly and dramatically. This creates a huge financial burden on families.  We know from the data we've seen, that at this high of a rate, patients are likely to abandon these medications altogether. We appreciate the efforts of Representative Lewis to bring legislation forward that will make a huge difference in the lives of patients. However, the new language in the bill defeats his intent and undermines this otherwise good legislation. North Carolina's senators now have an opportunity to do the right thing for patients by restoring this bill to its original language."

The median household income in North Carolina from 2007 – 2011 was $46,291 according to the US Census Bureau. From the Patient Advocate Foundation Patient Data Analysis Report ( in 2012 however, the majority of the commercially insured patients PAF served had a household income of $12,000 - $45,000 (Patient Advocate Foundation; Patient Data Analysis Report 2012, p. 56). This data also shows that a large majority of these patients have annual household incomes of less than $35,000. In North Carolina last year, 158,982 patients reached out to PAF for information and assistance. Of those, 3,457 were assisted by PAF case management services, which represents 3.17% of the organization's overall case management work load during 2012 (Patient Advocate Foundation; Patient Data Analysis Report 2012, p. 96). Also important to point out is that in 2012, 38.8% of the patients who contacted PAF reported difficulty in affording the out-of-pocket costs of their essential medications (Patient Advocate Foundation; Patient Data Analysis Report 2012, p. 144).

According to a Prime Therapeutics' study, patients with an out-of-pocket cost greater than $200 per month were at least three times more likely to not fill their prescription than those with out-of-pocket costs of $100 or less per month. An Avalere Health study also found that almost 10% of patients choose not to fill their initial prescriptions for oral anti-cancer medications due to the high rates of cost-sharing.

The bill is expected to receive a hearing in the Senate Health Care Committee within the next couple of weeks.

SOURCE National Patient Advocate Foundation
Copyright©2012 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Actinium Pharmaceuticals Clinical Results to be Presented at 8th International Symposium on Targeted Alpha Therapy Conference
2. Asmacure to Present Four Posters on Novel Pulmonary Development Compound ASM-024 at American Thoracic Society 2013 International Conference
3. International Isotopes Inc. Announces First Quarter 2013 Financial Results
4. National 2020 Mom Project Campaign Launches to Address Postpartum Depression by 2020
5. Sigma-Tau Receives Innovation Award From The National Organization for Rare Disorders for Its Advancements in Rare Diseases
6. Natural Alternatives International, Inc. Announces Fiscal 2013 Q3 and YTD Results
7. Astellas Joins the National Pharmaceutical Council
8. Addressing Hearing Loss Proves Win-Win for Both Employer and Employee, BHI Advises During National Employee Wellness Month
9. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. Announces Additional Information Regarding Continuance Proposal
10. Maxim Healthcare Services Names National Caregiver of the Year Winner
11. Chindex International, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2013 Financial Results
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... BOULDER, Colo. , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced that its Chief Executive Officer, Ron ... Annual Healthcare Conference in New York.  The public ... a webcast on the Array BioPharma website.Event:Piper Jaffray ... OfficerDate:  , Wednesday, December 2, 2015Time:1:30 p.m. Eastern ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... New York , 24. November 2015 ... des Avery Breathing Pacemaker Systems, ist erfreut, ... als Clinical Consultant bekannt geben zu können. ...   --> Foto ... Stockholm (Schweden). Von 1984-1986 war ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 Avery Biomedical Devices (ABD), manufacturer ... announce the appointment of Anders Jonzon , MD; ... Dr. Jonzon is a Physiologist ... Hospital, Uppsala University, Uppsala and Children,s Hospital, Karolinska, ... a fellow at the Cardiovascular Institute (UCSF). His research ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The McHenry County law firm of Botto Gilbert Lancaster, ... Francisco J. Botto and Alex C. Wimmer. Attorneys Botto and Wimmer represented the claimant ... (2d) 130884WC. , According to court documents, Adcock testified that on May 10, 2010 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... SCOTTSDALE, AZ) - Today, Dr. Todd C. Hobgood ... non-surgical treatments, announced the expansion of his private practice capabilities with the grand ... trained and nationally recognized for his natural approach, Dr. Todd Hobgood serves the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... In an ongoing Clinical Study conducted ... in Chicago, IL, UV Angel is evaluating the efficacy of its product and its ... units (totaling 30 beds) from May 2014 through October 2015 at a 360-bed, acute-care, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... scholarships for people struggling with eating disorders as a result of the $20,000 ... annual event, held at Fox Run Golf Club in Eureka, will help individuals ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Davie, Florida (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 ... ... PharmaTech LLC has announced that it has undertaken significant expansion of its current ... Florida. The investment is part of PharmaTech’s strategy to increase its manufacturing capacity ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):