Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema cosponsored the Cancer Drug Parity Act – bipartisan legislation lowering costs for cancer patients by prohibiting insurance plans from charging higher copays for oral cancer medicines over traditional IV chemotherapy administered in a doctor’s office or a clinic. The act should help expand affordable cancer treatment for Arizonans.

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“Arizonans fighting cancer shouldn’t have to pay higher out-of-pocket costs for the same cancer treatment, whether it’s delivered as an IV therapy or an oral medication. Patients and their doctors should have the freedom to choose the best treatment for them,” said Sinema.

Sinema’s Cancer Drug Parity Act ensures Arizona patients and their doctors can choose cancer medications that work best for the patient, without having to choose IV treatments due to cost considerations. IV treatments can be invasive and painful, particularly older patients, and can require long visits to infusion centers or doctors’ offices. Oral cancer medications are less invasive and allow patients to receive treatment at home. However, copays for oral cancer medications can be unaffordable for many patients.

The bipartisan Cancer Drug Parity Act requires health insurers to cover oral and self-administered chemotherapy medicines at the same cost-sharing rate as IV treatments administered in a health care setting. The bipartisan legislation prohibits insurers from adjusting their coverage to increase the cost of IV chemotherapeutics or impose restrictions to prevent doctors from prescribing oral chemotherapy medications.

This bipartisan bill is supported by over 30 cancer research institutes and advocacy organizations – including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and Susan G. Komen.