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Walker signs oral chemotherapy drugs bill

 Walker signs oral chemotherapy drugs bill

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill into law that is designed to lower the cost of chemotherapy drugs in pill form for cancer patients.

 

 

 

Walker signed the measure Thursday at the Froedtert and Medical College of Wisconsin Clinical Cancer Center.

 

 

 

The Republican-sponsored bill passed the Legislature with bipartisan support, after initially being kept from a vote by Republican leaders.

 

 

 

The new law requires health insurers to charge the same price for chemotherapy pills, which can be taken at home, as for intravenous treatments, which are administered at hospitals.

 

 

 

Supporters say the proposal will help more patients afford a more convenient form of treatment.

 

 

 

The new law will take effect in January.

 

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ Chemotherapy drugs in pill form would be more affordable for cancer patients under a bill that has cleared the Wisconsin Legislature.

 

 

 

Gov. Scott Walker has said he will sign the bill the Senate passed Tuesday on a bipartisan 26-7 vote.

 

 

 

Republican legislative leaders initially bottled up the bill, which the insurance industry opposed. But the Legislature ultimately acted following public pressure and addition of an amendment to cap patient copays at $100 a month.

 

 

 

But Democrats say the bill has loopholes that could lead to insurance companies charging even more.

 

 

 

Oral chemotherapy can cost thousands of dollars a month, while intravenous treatments often cost only a $20 copayment under a patient's insurance policy.

 

 

 

The bill would require insurance companies to treat chemotherapy pills the same as IV treatment.

 

 

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