WASHINGTON, D.C. June 12, 2015 – The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) – improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure – applauds the introduction today of legislation by Senators Al Franken (D-MN) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), along with Representatives Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Brian Higgins (D-NY), which would ensure access to the best cancer treatments for patients across America. S. 1566 and H.R. 2739, known as the Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act, will correct misaligned insurance coverage policies that result in high costs for orally administered anticancer treatments.
Due to insurance coverage polices, many oral anticancer drugs are being offered to patients at prohibitively high costs. The proposed bills would end this practice by requiring private insurance plans to provide the same access to orally administered cancer drugs as they do to those that are administered intravenously.
“The IMF is excited about this bipartisan effort to fix a major problem facing America’s cancer patients,” says Susie Novis, IMF President and Co-founder. “Patients need to have access to the drugs they need when they need them regardless of how they are administered.” Today, more than 14 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer, and of those approximately 100,000 are suffering from multiple myeloma, a cancer of cells in the bone marrow that affects the immune system and can damage bone.
The IMF has helped lead efforts in 39 states that have already passed similar legislation. While new cancer treatments continue to shift to being orally administered, this effort is critical to ensure that public policy keeps up with innovations in medical research.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION (IMF)
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the International Myeloma Foundation reaches more than 350,000 members in 120 countries worldwide. A non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients and their families, the IMF focuses on four key areas: research, education, support, and advocacy. To date, the IMF has conducted more than 250 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned hotline, and established the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), a collaborative research initiative focused on improving myeloma treatment options for patients. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE (2873). The global website is www.myeloma.org. Follow the IMF on Twitter @IMFmyeloma.
Senior Director of Advocacy
International Myeloma Foundation