REPRESENTATIVE DAVID R. LEWIS
53rd House District
Contact: Mark Coggins Room 1326, Legislative Building
Phone Number: (910) 897-8100 North Carolina House of Representatives
Raleigh, NC 27601-3015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 25, 2014
North Carolina Ensures Parity for Oral Cancer Treatment
Raleigh, NC- Today the North Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill with a provision that would ensure parity for oral cancer therapies. This section of SB 493 (Health and Safety Regulatory Reform) is a straightforward change in the current law. North Carolina is the 34th state to make this common sense change.
This portion of the bill meets the vital needs of many North Carolinians by improving access to life saving oral cancer medications, some of which are the most effective medications on the market today. Despite what critics say, parity for treatment options is not considered a mandate.
Scientists and Oncologists across the nation recognize the cost savings in total treatment costs for oral therapies over traditional IV medications. Currently, oral cancer drugs are extremely costly for patients because of lack of coverage. It’s time to recognize the future savings a more broad based distribution of oral cancer therapies can bring to the overall health care system. Prime Therapeutics, a benefits manager for insurance companies, says it will save money for insurers and patients in the long run.
The “one size fits all” cancer treatment adversely affects many families and access to an oral chemotherapy drug would lift the burden of expensive and time consuming treatments.
“Expanding treatment options to cost saving drugs that prove to be extremely effective is the right thing to do for the people of North Carolina,” said Rep. Lewis. “I’m excited that the General Assembly is addressing outdated methods of treatment in order to improve the health and wellness across North Carolina. This bill simply increases access to an effective form of treatment that is often preferable IV chemotherapy.”
Rep. Lewis is in his sixth term as a North Carolina State House Representative and is serving his sixth term.