North Hollywood, CA, April 3, 2014--The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) – improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure – applauds Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for signing SB 300, The Cancer Treatment Fairness Act, into law today. The IMF is also grateful to the bill's sponsors, Rep. Pat Strachota (R-River Hills) and Sen. Alberta Darling (R-West Bend).
The bill requires health plans regulated by the state that provide coverage for IV and oral anticancer treatments to charge patients no more than $100 out-of-pocket for a 30-day supply of orally administered anticancer treatment. The IMF advocated for equal coverage between IV and oral anticancer medications in Wisconsin and believes that a $100 maximum will allow many more cancer patients in Wisconsin to have affordable access to treatment.
“After years of battling misinformation from Wisconsin insurers, cancer patients are finally able to afford access to life-saving, cutting-edge oral anticancer medications,” said Meghan Buzby, US Director of Advocacy for the IMF. “We are grateful to Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. Pat Strachota, for their longstanding fight to get us where we are today.”
Over the years, IMF advocates in Wisconsin have met with their legislators, testified in committee hearings, and patiently waited for their voices to be heard. “I could not be happier that this bill is finally before Gov. Walker,” said Racine, WI, support group leader Mary Sandberg. “There were so many emotions along the way as many of us made the trip to Madison multiple times to show our support for SB 300. We were hopeful our stories would make a difference and at the end of the day they did.”
Wisconsin joins 29 other states and the District of Columbia to pass similar legislation and Kentucky's governor is expected to sign a bill into law in the next two weeks, bringing the total to 31 states and DC.
“This will make oral anticancer treatments affordable for untold numbers of Wisconsin cancer patients,” said Zina Cary, National State Affairs Consultant for the IMF.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION
Celebrating its 23rd anniversary, the International Myeloma Foundation reaches more than 350,000 members in 120 countries worldwide. A 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients and their families, the IMF focuses on four key areas: research, education, support, and advocacy. To date, the IMF has conducted more than 250 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned hotline, and established the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), a collaborative research initiative focused on improving myeloma treatment options for patients. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE (2873). The global website is www.myeloma.org. Follow the IMF on Twitter at @IMFmyeloma.