Oral Chemotherapy Bill Signed Into Law in New York State

On September 23 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that requires health plans to cover orally administered chemotherapy treatments at a cost equal to intravenously or injected chemotherapy treatments. The bill will go into effect January 2012.

Traditional intravenous chemotherapy drugs administered in a hospital or clinic are often included as a medical benefit under a patient’s health insurance plan. However, many oral chemotherapies are defined as a prescription benefit and frequently require much higher out-of-pocket costs for patients, or they have been unavailable to patients with financial caps on their prescription benefit.

“Many of our patients with leukemia and bone marrow disorders will directly benefit from this important new bill,” said Dr. Gail J. Roboz, Director of the Weill Cornell Leukemia Program. ” I am so proud that one of my patients was instrumental in this important accomplishment.”