JEFFERSON CITY, MO. — Missouri cancer patients could soon find it more affordable to take chemotherapy pills under legislation signed by Gov. Jay Nixon on Wednesday.
Starting in January, patients could not be charged more than $75 for a 30-day supply of oral cancer drugs. The measure is intended to make the cost of oral chemotherapy, which typically has fewer side effects, more comparable to traditional intravenous treatments.
“No Missourian battling cancer should have to break the bank in order to get the medicine they need,” Nixon said in a written statement.
With the Democratic governor’s signature, Missouri joins 27 other states and the District of Columbia in enacting some form of cost control for oral chemotherapy.
The American Cancer Society estimates that Missourians on average currently pay between $2,000 and $5,000 for a month’s supply of oral chemotherapy. One drug used to treat lung cancer costs over $30,000 for a 30-day supply.
On the other hand, intravenous treatments typically cost a routine co-payment for a doctor’s visit, which can be as low as $20.