Arkansas Becomes the 43rd State to Pass Oral Parity Legislation

Arkansas Affiliates of Susan G. Komen Applaud Governor Hutchinson for Signing Legislation to Increase Access to Oral Anticancer Treatments  

LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Affiliates of Susan G. Komen thanked Gov. Asa Hutchinson for signing legislation designed to increase access to oral anticancer treatments for cancer patients in Arkansas.

The legislation, House Bill 1592, authored by Representative Greg Leding, requires parity in health benefit coverage between orally administered anticancer medications and IV administered anticancer medications.

Cancer treatment is continually innovating, with the growing trend towards orally administered anticancer drugs that are more targeted and more effective.  Unfortunately, insurance coverage has not kept pace with this evolution.  The result has been patient cost-sharing obligations that are much higher for oral anticancer drugs than for drugs delivered through IV administration.

“On behalf of cancer patients across the state, we are so grateful for Representative Leding’s leadership on this issue, and for Gov. Hutchison’s support,” said Komen Ozark Executive Director, Lauren Marquette, “This legislation will ensure patients in Arkansas are able to access the most effective treatment without concerns of bankruptcy.”

The Komen Affiliates worked closely with Representative Leding to provide testimony at hearings and ensure outreach to legislative offices on the importance of this legislation.   In addition, we would like to thank all of our volunteers and supporters that reached out to their legislative offices in support of this critical legislation.

The legislation co-authored by Senator Greg Standridge received nearly unanimous bi-partisan support.

“By working together, and ensuring access to quality treatment for all cancer patients in Arkansas, we can change the outcome for thousands of cancer patients in this state,” said Komen Arkansas Executive Director, Sherrye McBride.

Arkansas joins 42 other states and the District of Columbia in ensuring cancer patients have increased access to oral anticancer treatments, which, until now, have been out of reach for many Arkansans because of the high out-of-pockets costs.

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