The demand for oral parity for oncology medications is back up for vote in the Senate in North Carolina.
Patient advocacy groups in North Carolina, like ACSCAN, are demanding that the state should implement the oral/infusion cancer drug parity law. While Oregon was the first state to pass the law in 2008, 39 states and the District of Columbia have followed suit. Today, North Carolina is one of 11 states where insurers demand higher out-of-pocket costs from patients on oral anticancer agents, compared with those who get infusions or injections.
“It should not matter what method of chemotherapy a cancer patient is receiving, whether it’s an IV infusion or a pill,” said Christine Weason, the North Carolina government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in an interview. “It’s just about fairness.” A bill to this effect, passed in the North Carolina House in April this year, is currently pending in the Senate.