Patient Advocates Visit Missouri State Capitol to Urge Lawmakers to Pass Legislation to Expand Coverage to Life-Saving Ant

State Lawmakers Asked to Support Legislation (SB 786/HB 2205) to Improve Patient Access to Oral Chemotherapy Treatments

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Patient advocates from across Missouri descended on the Capitol in Jefferson City today as part of the National Patient Advocate Foundation’s (NPAF) Missouri State Advocacy Day to urge the state’s General Assembly to support SB 786/HB 2205, legislation that would require health benefit plans to provide coverage for orally administered anticancer medications on the same basis intravenously administered medications are currently covered. Patient advocates visiting with members of the state’s legislature asked lawmakers to support the bill, which could provide patients with increased care options and improved quality of life.

“I am excited and honored to be part of NPAF’s Missouri State Advocacy Day,” said Jennifer Gutierrez, a NPAF state policy liaison volunteer and cancer survivor. “Through my own experience battling brain cancer and my professional experiences as a nurse, I understand fully the importance of patient access to the most appropriate, medically-effective and minimally-invasive anticancer medications available. For all cancer patients across Missouri, whose lives depend on the availability of quality healthcare, I urge our state legislators to support this bill.”

The legislation, which will expand the availability of oral chemotherapy treatments through increased insurance coverage, originally introduced by State Senator Scott Rupp (R-Wentzville), also has the potential to reduce healthcare system costs by improving patient safety and allowing patients to access oral medications that, in some cases, are more effective and result in less adverse reactions than seen in more commonly covered intravenous chemotherapy. Evidence also suggests that access to oral cancer medications can improve the quality of life for patients by providing patients with a more comfortable, less invasive and more favorable method for receiving care when compared to intravenous chemotherapy. NPAF is also urging lawmakers to strengthen the bill with additional language that protects patients from increased cost-sharing.

“We applaud Senator Scott Rupp for introducing this patient-centric legislation to expand coverage to proven, clinically-effective oral cancer medications,” said Nancy Davenport-Ennis, President and CEO of NPAF. “We will continue to work with the Missouri legislature to ensure that this legislation is amended and signed into law.”

NPAF and its companion organization, the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF), were established in 1996 on the principle that health care is a basic human need and shared social responsibility. NPAF is dedicated to working with Congress and all levels of government to overcome challenges and create solutions that will allow for high-quality, affordable health care for all. In 2009, PAF case managers assisted 55,384 patients, each with chronic, life-threatening or debilitating conditions struggling to access health care. Additionally, PAF responds to millions of online requests for information or chat line support. For more information see www.npaf.org.



CONTACT:

National Patient Advocate Foundation
Ellen Almond, 703-548-0019

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Missouri

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Public Policy/Government  Oncology  Pharmaceutical  Public Policy  State/Local

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