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Senate Bill 1034 — Anticancer medications

Senate Bill 1034 — Anticancer medications

Phil Haunschild
February 19, 2019

Bill description: SB 1034 would prohibit insurers from charging different rates for anti-cancer medications depending on whether they are administered orally, intravenously, or injected.

Rating: -1

Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market?

SB 1034 would fix the prices insurers can charge patients for access to anticancer medications. Anticancer medications can be administered in several different ways: as pills or capsules to be taken orally, as an I.V. or as an injection. Each of these methods comes with different costs, both to the insurer and the patient, and each has different benefits and drawbacks.

SB 1034 would prohibit insurers from charging a higher rate for patients to use orally administered anticancer medications rather than medications administered intravenously or as an injection. Orally administered medications can be substantially more expensive to use and much costlier to insurers to provide as a benefit. Under current law, insurers can provide medications administered in any form, and it is left up to them to choose the most economical method. If a patient wishes to have access to more expensive anticancer medications administered orally—which is often more convenient, less invasive, and carrying fewer side effects—then the patient can choose a plan that offers that option.


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