Lawmakers give final approval to chemo parity bill

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers gave final approval to legislation that could lower treatment cost for some cancer patients.

The bill would prohibit insurance companies from charging patients more than $75 for oral cancer drugs rather than traditional intravenous treatments. Sponsoring Rep. Sheila Solon, of Blue Springs, says oral drugs often carry fewer side effects for cancer patients.

The House voted 147-6 on Thursday to send the bill to Gov. Jay Nixon's desk. The Senate passed the measure last month.

Patients are often charged much more for oral chemotherapy because it is handled as a pharmacy benefit. Traditional intravenous treatments often cost only the standard co-payment for an office visit.

House Speaker Tim Jones says the bill would be among the most significant pieces of legislation passed by the Legislature this year.

___

Chemotherapy is SB 668

Online:

Legislature: http://www.moga.mo.gov

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.