Record number of bills vetoed by Missouri Governor

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[…]

AP: Senate endorses Chemotherapy Parity Bill

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.

Patients, doctor ask lawmakers for ‘parity’ between oral, IV chemotherapy coverage costs

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.