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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Baker Bill to Benefit Stage IV Cancer Patients

New legislation would ensure unfettered access to cancer treatments

Legislation spearheaded by Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter), chairman of the House Health Committee, would bring new hope for patients who have a Stage IV metastatic cancer diagnosis.

House Bill 1280 would provide Stage IV metastatic cancer patients access to the medication and treatments prescribed by their doctors no matter what their insurance typically covers.

“Those individuals who are dealing with the diagnosis of late-stage cancer that has started to spread throughout their body should have no barriers to access the most current medications prescribed by their doctors,” said Baker. “Under my legislation, insurance companies would no longer have the ability to delay access to the treatment options patients may need to save or extend their lives.”

Insurance companies currently have the ability to set coverage guidelines that govern how and when treatments are approved. Sometimes those guidelines require Stage IV patients to first try an insurance-mandated series of medications that fail to improve the condition before being granted access to the oncology medication and treatments prescribed by their doctor.

“Sadly, cancer rates continue to increase,” said Baker. “According to the American Cancer Society, in 2017, it is estimated that there will be more than 1.6 million new cancer cases diagnosed in the United States and 600,000 deaths. Time is of the essence for late-stage cancer medications and accessing best practice, evidence-based anti-cancer medication will give the greatest level of hope for cancer patients seeking help.”

House Bill 1280, known as the Fair Access to Cancer Treatment Act, passed the House unanimously today and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The legislation is supported by the American Cancer Society Action Network, International Cancer Advocacy Network, Pennsylvania Society of Hematology and Oncology, Pennsylvania Prostate Cancer Coalition, Community Oncology Alliance, National Patient Advocate Foundation, Prostate Health Education Network, Susan G. Komen, and the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

God bless you Mr. Baker may all our legislators agree and pass this bill