Hurd Stands Tall for South and West Texas Cancer Patients
WASHINGTON, DC – Today U.S. Representative Will Hurd (TX-23) continued on his efforts to increase access to and decrease costs of quality medical care by cosponsoring the Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act. This bipartisan bill introduced by Reps. Brett Guthrie (KY-02) and Brian Higgins (NY-26) helps cancer patients by ensuring health insurance plans that cover traditional chemotherapy provide equal coverage for prescribed, orally-administered anticancer medications.
Oral chemotherapy represents 35 percent of the oncology development pipeline. Most of these medications do not have alternative options, leaving patients with the burden of paying astronomical out-of-pocket costs or forgoing treatment. While injectable treatments are usually covered under the medical benefit component of a plan, orally-administered anti-cancer medications are covered under the prescription drug component, which often places a higher percentage of cost-sharing on the patient.
“Access to quality care is vital for the health and wellness of South and West Texans,” said Hurd, a tireless advocate for health care access in TX-23 and community health centers. “This bipartisan bill gives patients increased flexibility and equal access to treatments that are best for them instead of having to worry about what options will be covered by insurance. I am proud to express my support for this bill today and will continue to fight for patient fairness.”
“As a two-time breast cancer survivor, it’s important to me that cancer patients have full access to crucial treatments and therapies – both intravenous and oral,” said Helotes resident Mary Helen Martinez. “The way a patient receives their medicine is a conversation that should happen between the patient and their physician – and not a decision that should come down to dollars. I thank Congressman Hurd for cosponsoring the Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act, which will allow patients to explore more treatment options.”
“On behalf of millions of cancer patients and survivors, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) applauds the bipartisan reintroduction of the Cancer Drug Parity Act,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “This critical legislation would remove financial barriers to vital, self-administered cancer treatments and ensure patients and their doctors can make treatment decisions based on what is best for the patient by creating parity between intravenous and oral drugs.”
This bill is endorsed by: AIM at Melanoma, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Society of Hematology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation, Association of Community Cancer Centers, Association of American Cancer Institutes, Cancer Support Community, Community Oncology Alliance, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer, Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE), Fight Colorectal Cancer., Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association, International Myeloma Foundation, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Lymphoma Research Foundation, National Brain Tumor Society, National Patient Advocate Foundation, Oncology Nursing Society, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, Patient Services, Inc., Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Susan G. Komen, Takeda Oncology, Zero – The End of Prostate Cancer, and Patients Equal Access Coalition.