Signed into law April 4, Bill SB 385, introduced by Senator Timothy Jennings, ends the disparity in insurance coverage for oral cancer drugs as compared to IV drug therapies, and represents a tremendous victory for the myeloma community and all cancer patients in New Mexico.
Oral drug parity is one of the issues that the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) Advocacy team has been working on in various states and at the federal level for some time. To assist them in their efforts in New Mexico, the IMF Advocacy team enlisted David Cowan, a 51-year-old myeloma patient from Eunice, New Mexico to tell his story at the legislative hearing. David had recently made the difficult decision to stop treatment entirely: after two transplants, 15 bone biopsies, radiation and numerous other treatment combos, he had said “enough is enough.” His moving testimony, along with that of the bill’s author Senator Jennings, whose wife had bravely fought breast cancer for four years, provided a very powerful message, and the bill passed the committee unanimously.
This experience, and working with the IMF to enact real change, brought new energy and hope to David. He is going back into treatment, making the choice to rejoin the fight against cancer, for himself as well as for the good of all cancer patients.