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California Senate Bill 961, which would require insurance companies to cover orally administered cancer treatments at the same rate as IV treatments has passed through the legislature!!
The next stop is Governor Schwarzenegger!

The next stop is Governor Schwarzenegger!

Congratulations to Caethe Goetz, support group leader Napa Valley, for giving impassioned testimony on how this bill will improve the lives of many cancer patients in the state of California:

My name is Caethe Goetz. I am a proud former Marine, and a multiple myeloma patient. I also founded and lead a Myeloma support group in my community.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer that affects the immune system and can damage bone. In my case, vertebral fractures have caused a loss of five inches in height.  Myeloma can’t be cured, so I’ll need cancer drugs for the rest of my life. Right now, I am not in remission, but I feel pretty good, largely de to the new medications that I struggled to pay for.

I was diagnosed in 2003 at the age of 49.  My doctor order oral chemotherapy. There was no IV substitute for that medication. But the cost for a prescription was $7,000, and my 20% share of cost came to $1,400 a month. The costs were so great I maxed out every single credit card. Finally I had no choice but to stop the oral chemo and go to the IV medication, which was not effective.

Not being able to pay for oral chemo forced me to take a drug that was not only less effective, but left me so in debt I had to move in with my mother. I wanted to work, but couldn’t get a job because I’d need two days a week for IV therapy. Now I live on part-time work and social security.

Not only myself but all the patients in my support group overwhelmingly would prefer oral chemo, if only we could afford it. We shouldn’t have to make a life or death choice based on cost. On behalf of all cancer patients, please support this billl

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