JEFFERSON CITY • Gov. Jay Nixon used his veto pen to set a personal record this year following a legislative session marred by showdowns over tax cuts, school choice and revenue estimates. Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed 33 bills — the most in a single year since he took office in 2009. His total is just two[…]
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to legislation that could lower treatment costs for some cancer patients.
The measure endorsed Tuesday would let insurance companies charge patients only $75 more per month for chemotherapy pills than traditional intravenous chemotherapy treatments.
Patients are often charged much more for oral chemotherapy because it is handled as a pharmacy benefit. Intravenous treatments often only cost the standard co-payment for an office visit.
Bills have been heard in the committees in the state House and Senate that would require insurance companies to charge patients the same out-of-pocket amount to cover oral chemotherapy as they would to cover intravenous chemotherapy.Insurance plans often treat oral chemotherapy as a pharmacy benefit but treat intravenous therapy as a medical benefit. This means patients generally pay more for oral than they would for intravenous.
Lawmakers have been told that makes it cost-prohibitive for some patients to get the pill form. Ellis Fischel Cancer Center Doctor Carl Freter says the pills are often much more effective and targeted at cancer cells.
Anti-cancer medications administered intravenously are traditionally covered under the medical benefit portion of a cancer patient’s insurance plan, generally requiring