Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

State lawmakers seek more access to anti-cancer meds for patients

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland lawmakers are outlining a measure to increase access to anti-cancer medications.

Cancer patients, physicians and advocacy groups will join lawmakers at a news conference in Annapolis on Thursday to talk about the legislation before a hearing.

Supporters of the measure say it would require insurance companies to equalize out-of-pocket patient expenses for intravenous and oral anti-cancer treatments.

Delegate Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, D-Baltimore County, says inequities often exist in how health plans cover the treatments.

Supporters also say many health plans treat intravenous chemotherapy treatments similar to office visits by requiring a standard co-payment of $20 to $30 a visit. But they say oral anti-cancer medications are usually classified as part of prescription drug plans that often require higher co-payments as well as a percentage of the drug’s cost.