Missouri Breast Cancer Patients, Survivors, Co-Survivors: We Need Your Testimony

Guest Writer: Theresa Osenbaugh, Community Health Manager at Susan G. Komen® Greater Kansas City Affiliate

A Missouri Oral Chemotherapy Parity Interim Committee was appointed by Governor Nixon this fall to consider cancer patients’ access to oral chemotherapy treatments.

The committee was created to study the disparity in patient co-payments between orally and intravenously administered chemotherapies, the reasons for the disparity, and the patient benefits in establishing co-payment parity between oral and infused chemotherapy agents. The information gathered from this study will be utilized in decisions regarding the passing of legislation in the upcoming State of Missouri sessions.

Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City has been advocating for law that requires health benefit plans to cover oral cancer chemotherapy at a cost equal to that of intravenous cancer chemotherapy.

Currently, a patient’s cost-sharing obligations are much higher for oral anti-cancer drugs than for drugs delivered through formats like intravenous (IV) or injection, and high cost-sharing places these drug therapies out of reach for far too many patients.

Additionally, despite the cost associated with the drug, in many cases there are no equivalent treatments that can be substituted for the prescribed oral drug.

We Need Your Help, Your Voice

We are seeking testimony for those who have or could have benefited from oral chemotherapy drugs. Additionally, if someone you love has been touched by oral chemotherapy or has not been able to access oral chemotherapy drugs, we are interested in speaking with you.

It is our hope to find at least one person who could provide written testimony or speak to the committee about your experience next Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013. The meeting will occur in Jefferson City, MO, between 11 am and 4 pm. Once testimony is provided, you will not be asked to stay for the entire meeting unless you choose.

Komen Kansas City believes breast cancer patients should not be forced to choose a less appropriate treatment option — or forego drug therapy all together, where no other options exist — simply because an insurer provides less coverage for a cancer drug that happens to be administered by mouth rather than by IV/injection.

Please let us know if you or someone you know can assist us in this effort.

Contact Theresa Osenbaugh at 816.245.7352 (direct), 816.842.0410 (main) or tosenbaugh@komenkansascity.org (email).

Thank you for your consideration.

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