International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) Advocacy Team Helps Fight for Patients' Rights

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The IMF Advocacy Team has been working on oral drug parity in various states and at the federal level for some time. On May 22 the Illinois State Senate voted unanimously to pass HB 1825, a bill that will eliminate the disparity in insurance coverage between oral and intravenous chemotherapies, ensuring that all cancer patients in the state have equal access to both forms of treatment.

The Illinois State Senate voted unanimously 5/22/11 to pass HB 1825, a bill that will eliminate the disparity in insurance coverage between oral and intravenous chemotherapies, ensuring that all cancer patients in the state have equal access to both forms of treatment. HB 1825 will be sent to the governor, once the House concurs on an amendment regarding the implementation of the bill.

The IMF Advocacy Team has been working on oral drug parity in various states and at the federal level for some time. Assisting them are volunteer advocates across the country; multiple myeloma patients, family members and friends. At the time this alert was written, twelve states and the District of Columbia have passed similar legislation and several other states have legislation pending. We’re one step closer to a tremendous victory for the myeloma community and all cancer patients in Illinois. You can help the IMF help multiple myeloma patients, as well as cancer patients everywhere, by joining our action network and becoming part of the solution.

Today, close to 35% of the products in the oncology pipeline are oral agents and many health plans have not kept up with these advances, which causes inequity and access issues for patients. Many health plans cover IV/infused therapies under the medical benefit resulting in a small office co-pay while placing oral therapies under the pharmacy benefit, resulting in higher out-of-pocket costs.

HB 1825 will ensure that health plans already providing insurance coverage for chemotherapy provide equal coverage for both IV/injected and oral therapies.

About the International Myeloma Foundation

Founded in 1990, the IMF is the oldest and largest myeloma organization in the world, reaching more than 195,000 members in 113 countries. Focusing on four key areas—research, education, support and advocacy, the IMF’s mission is to improve the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure. The research arm of the IMF, the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), comprised of 145 leading collaborative researchers, continues to lead the way in myeloma treatment and research. The IMF can be reached at (800) 453-CURE. The global website is myeloma.org.

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David Girard
International Myeloma Foundation
818 487-7455
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