Show the Governor Your Support for Caps on Oral Chemotherapy Costs for Breast Cancer Patients

Breast cancer treatment is expensive and costs can rack up quickly. In some instances families might find themselves making the difficult decision to pay for their rent or treatment. The Komen California Collaborative Public Policy Committee works to remove barriers such as these, because no should ever have to make that decision. 

In 2013, California was the 27th state to pass the oral anti-cancer medication parity law, ensuring anti-cancer medications would be more affordable and accessible for cancer patients.  This law is in jeopardy of sunsetting (expiring)- meaning instead of the $250 maximum out of pocket copay – patients would be required to pay a coinsurance that could cost them thousands of dollars out of pocket.

Assembly Bill 1860 is a Komen sponsored bill that caps patients’ out-of-pocket costs for oral anti-cancer drugs (oral chemotherapy). Previous legislation worked on by the KCCPPC that provided a $200 cap sunsets (expires) in 2019. A.B. 1860 would provide a cap for another 5 years. Prior to this bill, intravenous (IV) administered chemotherapy was covered by insurances at a more favorable rate than oral (pill form) chemotherapy, which made it difficult for breast cancer patients to access their oral chemotherapy prescriptions.

Where is it now?

 This bill (A.B. 1860) moved smoothly through the assembly until it hit the Assembly Committee on Appropriations in May. The committee amended the bill to change the cap from $200 to $250. This is a change the KCCPPC advocated against, but is still much lower than the thousands of dollars patients were being charged per prescription before the bill. In July, on the Senate Floor, insurance companies successfully advocated that another sunset be included for a five-year period. With these amendments, A.B. 1860 successfully passed out of the Assembly floor.

How you can help. 

The legislature has passed the legislation, it now sits with Governor Brown.  Please take a moment to let Governor Brown know that he must sign Assembly Bill 1860- we must ensure cancer patients can afford the medications required to fight their disease.

Show the governor your support for this bill! Send him a message here.