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Missouri Senate endorses chemotherapy parity bill

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 | 6:49 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to legislation that could lower treatment costs for some cancer patients.

The measure endorsed Tuesday would let insurance companies charge patients only $75 more per month for chemotherapy pills than traditional intravenous chemotherapy treatments.

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

Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia already have laws requiring equal coverage for oral and intravenous chemotherapy treatments.

Missouri's legislation needs one more Senate vote before heading to the House. It is sponsored by Republican Sen. Ryan Silvey of Kansas City.


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