Missouri cancer patients soon could find it more affordable to take chemotherapy pills.
Gov. Jay Nixon was expected to sign legislation Wednesday that would limit the amount of money patients could be charged for oral chemotherapy medicines. The bill would impose an out-of-pocket limit of $75 for a 30-day supply, starting next January.
The legislation is intended to make the patients’ cost for oral chemotherapy more comparable to intravenous chemotherapy.
Many patients currently are charged thousands of dollars a year for oral chemotherapy, which is covered as a pharmacy benefit. It often has fewer side effects than intravenous therapy. But IV chemotherapy is significantly cheaper for patients, because it’s covered as a medical benefit requiring a routine co-payment for an office visit.
The chemotherapy bill is SB668.