Chemotherapy Pills Could Soon be Cheaper for Cancer Patients

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DOWNTOWN COLUMBUS (James Jackson) — It may soon be cheaper for cancer patients to get a certain chemotherapy treatment.

Barbara DePalma is a Breast Cancer survivor. She’s been living Cancer-free for 24 years, and says she was fortunate to have good medical coverage. “I had IV treatment as well as oral treatment and it did become very expensive,” DePalma said.

But, DePalma says many Ohioans aren’t so lucky. Their insurance doesn’t cover oral chemo like it covers IV treatments. That’s why the Ohio House of Representatives passed legislation Tuesday, keeping insurance companies from charging more for chemotherapy pills, than for traditional IV treatments.

Julie McMahon, with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, says there are advantages to lower prices. “They are often much more convenient for patients. Have often less side effects and frankly, a lot of the drugs in development right now are going to be oral Chemotherapy,” McMahon said.

DePalma says it will give people better access. “Often times, people have to choose do I put food on the table? Do I pay for these extremely expensive drugs and the lower prices would enable a lot more people to receive the treatment that they need,” DePalma said.

Opponents have blocked the legislation for years, saying it would increase costs. The Ohio Senate gave the okay a few months ago. Governor Kasich is expected to do the same.


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