Missouri Debates Rules Covering Pill-Based Chemo

Posted by Dave Berry

By Jason Hancock

JEFFERSON CITY — There’s little debate over the advantages of treating cancer with a pill compared to intravenously.

Conventional IV chemotherapy comes with a litany of side effects, often kills healthy cells along with cancer and must be administered in a medical facility. Oral chemotherapy, by contrast, has fewer and less severe side effects and can be taken at home.

How much that pill should cost is a different matter altogether.

Lawmakers are considering legislation making Missouri the 28th state to bar insurance companies from charging higher co-payments and deductibles for chemotherapy medication taken in pill form.

It’s an idea that has once again set the stage for a showdown between insurance companies, cancer advocates and the pharmaceutical industry.

Its supporters contend the legislation is simply about ensuring patients aren’t priced out of the best treatment available.

Source: The Kansas City Star