Wolf signs oral chemo bill

York Dispatch

Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law on Friday a bill that requires insurance companies to provide the same coverage for oral chemotherapy that they would for intravenous or injectable chemo medications.

The law, formerly called House Bill 60, creates more parity between out-of-pocket costs associated with traditional forms of chemo medications and the newer oral drugs.

Orally administered anticancer medications are covered by patients' health-plan pharmacy benefits, causing them to pay a percentage of the cost — typically 25 percent to 30 percent, according to Rep. Matt Baker, the law's sponsor.

"This creates an enormous financial barrier for patients to access orally administered drugs prescribed by their cancer physician for treatment," Baker, R-Tioga County, wrote in a sponsorship memo.

As of August 2014, 34 other states had similar laws on the books.

Pennsylvania's law takes effect immediately.