Sen. Susan Wagle to push for insurance coverage of oral chemotherapy drugs

From a press release sent out today:

TOPEKA – The Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee will conduct a hearing tomorrow morning on Senate Bill 195 which would require insurance companies to cover the cost of oral chemotherapy drugs in the same manner they cover IV chemotherapy drugs. The hearing is set for Thurs., Jan. 28th at 9:30 a.m. in Room 152-S in the Kansas Statehouse

State Senator Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, author of the legislation, stated, “There are many cancer patients in Kansas who purchased medical insurance believing it would cover the cost of cancer treatment. Then, upon needing treatment, they are alarmed to discover their insurance carrier does not cover the best treatment options for their condition.”

Wagle explained, “Giant leaps are being taken in new treatments and technologies to treat cancer. Newer, more targeted therapies are being developed that do not have as many debilitating side effects as traditional chemotherapy. We have a new strain of pharmaceutical drugs that target only cancer cells; however, Kansans are finding that in many cases, their insurance will not cover the new therapies.”

Senator Wagle will testify for the bill along with Dr. Mark Fesen, MD, FACP, an oncologist and internist who graduated from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Fesen trained at the National Cancer Institute and is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Kansas. He has been recognized nationally with mentions in US News and World Report and Business Week was recently interviewed by Wall Street Journal MarketWatch, and was a guest on the Jim Bohannon show which airs on more than 500 radio stations.

Dr. Fesen lives and practices in Hutchinson, Kan. and has recently written and published a book receiving national attention: Surviving the Cancer System – An Empowering Guide to Taking Control of Your Care.