NV Bill Would Help Cancer Patients on Oral Drugs

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RENO, Nev. (AP) - Advocacy groups for cancer patients are backing Nevada legislation to give parity to patients on oral medication.

Sen. Mo Dennis' SB266, introduced Friday, seeks to make Nevada the 23rd state with what supporters call an oral oncology parity law.

The measure would require insurers to provide coverage for oral drugs that is equivalent to conventional intravenous drugs used in chemotherapy.

Tom McCoy of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network says patients shouldn't have to pay more for treatment because they're prescribed oral medication instead of intravenous drugs.

Unlike intravenous drugs, he says, oral medication is considered a pharmacy benefit with no annual out-of-pocket limit - and patients on oral drugs end up paying much more.

Representatives of America's Health Insurance Plans didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.