California Legislature is making another attempt to make cancer treatment pills more affordable

Chemotherapy pills may decrease in cost

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A new bill would cap the amount of money insurance companies could charge for chemotherapy pill prescription at one hundred dollars.

Insurance and health plans generally cover chemo treatments, other than a small co-pay, but pill prescriptions can cost up to thousands of dollars. But, this new bill could make a drastic difference in the pockets of patients as well as their health.

Even though the prescription pills may be a better form of treatment for certain types of cancer, the cost is far too high. Assemblymember Henry Parera says the high cost means many people who could benefit from the pills all too often have to go without.

"When you have a cancer patient who has to pay eight to ten thousand dollars per month, they do not receive treatment because they just cant afford it"

Dr. Cartmell at Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center said the prescription drug has fewer side effects over the I.V. chemotherapy and in most cases is more beneficial.

"In a general sort of way pills are less toxic than IVs."

One cancer patient, battling three different types of cancer, says the pills are currently too expensive but would prefer that route if it were cheaper.

This is the second attempt to pass this bill but Parera says, this time he has talked with the governor and sees a higher chance of it passing.


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