ADVOCACY ALERT: Let Your Voice Be Heard in Jefferson City

Susan G. Komen® St. Louis, as a member of The Missouri Coalition for Cancer Treatment Access (MCCTA), is supporting state legislation that would ensure cancer patients in Missouri have equal access to IV (intravenous) and oral chemotherapy.

MissouriFlagOral chemotherapies allow patients the ability to continue to work and contribute to the economy because these therapies are self-administered and often have fewer side effects. More than 25% of the 400 chemotherapy drugs currently in the development pipeline are oral therapies.

Intravenous chemotherapy treatments, which are covered as a medical benefit, require a flat insurance co-payment. However, because oral therapies are covered as a pharmacy benefit, patients can be charged up to 50% of the cost of the drug; this can mean hundreds or thousands of dollars paid out-of-pocket each month, even if the oral therapy is the only treatment available for their cancer.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION

Legislation has been proposed in both the Missouri State Senate and Missouri State House of Representatives to require health plans that cover cancer treatments to make the out-of-pocket expenses to patients equal. Please take action today to ensure these bills move forward.

Your voice is critical to ensure HB 1327/SB 663 or SB 668 become law this year. The process starts with the proposed legislation being sent to the committees that will allow a fair public hearing. With only a handful of days until the bills are referred to committee, the time to act is now.

TWO SIMPLE WAYS YOU CAN HELP TODAY

1. Please request that House Speaker, Representative Tim Jones, refer HB 1327 to the Special Standing Committee on Emerging Issues in Healthcare. This committee, chaired by Representative Todd Richardson, heard the bill during the 2013 legislative session.

Representative Jones can be reached at tim.jones@house.mo.gov or 573.751.0562.

Sample Email Text:

Dear Representative Jones,

As you are well aware, House Bill 1327, which would require oral therapy for cancer to be covered in a manner equal to that of IV treatment, is currently waiting to be assigned to a committee. This issue is critical to cancer patients in Missouri.

Please refer HB 1327 to the Special Standing Committee on Emerging Issues in Healthcare.

Thank you.

[Your Name]

2. Please request that Senate President Pro Tem, Senator Tom Dempsey, refer SB 663 and SB 668 to the Senate Small Business Insurance and Industry Committee, chaired by Senator Scott Rupp.

Senator Dempsey can be reached at tom.dempsey@senate.mo.gov or 573.751.1141.

Sample Email Text:

Dear Senator Dempsey,

As you are well aware, Senate Bills 663 and 668, which both require oral therapy for cancer to be covered in a manner equal to that of IV treatment, are currently waiting to be assigned to a committee. This issue is critical to cancer patients in Missouri.

Please refer these bills to the Senate Small Business Insurance and Industry Committee, chaired by Senator Scott Rupp.

Thank you.

[Your Name]

Thank you for your time supporting this effort.

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