Senate approves oral chemo treatment measure

LANSING — Legislation designed to help ensure Michigan cancer patients have access to the best, most effective chemotherapy treatments was approved by the state Senate Wednesday.

If signed into law, Senate Bills 540 and 541 would require insurance companies to cover orally administered cancer treatments the same as intravenously or injected cancer treatments.

“Cancer patients have enough on their minds without having to worry about whether or not they can afford the best medicine or treatment possible to fight their disease,” said Hune, R-Hamburg Township. “The thought of some chemotherapy drugs being more expensive simply because they are pills instead of IV drugs is ridiculous.”

Several other states have passed similar legislation, including Oregon, Indiana, Iowa, Vermont, Hawaii, Connecticut, Kansas, Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, Texas, Illinois and New York.

“As chair of the Senate Insurance Committee, I was proud to help advance these important measures toward becoming law,” Hune said. “I encourage my colleagues in the House to act quickly on these bills and send them to the governor.”

SBs 540 and 541 now advance to the House of Representatives for further consideration.