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Statement from the IMF on Insurance Inequities

On April 15th, The New York Times published an article on the inequities in insurance coverage for oral drugs when compared to coverage of intravenous drugs. www.nytimes.com/2009/04/15/business/15pill.html?_r=1&ref=health

The article says in part:

 "Pills and capsules are the new wave in cancer treatment, expected to account for 25 percent of all cancer medicines in a few years, up from less than 10 percent now.

The oral drugs can free patients from frequent trips to a clinic to be hooked to an intravenous line for hours. Fewer visits might save the health system money as well as time. And the pills are a step toward making cancer a manageable chronic condition, like diabetes.
But for many patients, exchanging an I.V. bag for a pill is a lopsided trade because the economics and practice of cancer medicine have not caught up with the convenience of oral drugs."

Susie Novis, president and co-founder of the IMF, issued the following statement:

"In the last few years we have seen dramatic and important advances in treatments for multiple myeloma and related cancers. However, the needless disparity in coverage between oral drugs and intravenous chemotherapy is a critical issue for many of our patients.

We believe patients should be able to take advantage of the treatment that is best for them, and not have to select their treatment based on insurance coverage. We are pleased to see these concerns getting public attention and we call on private insurers, Medicare and government officials working on health care reform to eliminate these outdated inequities that threaten patient care."

Link to Susie Novis' letter to the editor in the NY Times.

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