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April 16, 2014

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Bill capping costs for cancer treatment pills headed to governor

CARSON CITY — The state Senate put the final touches on a bill Thursday to eventually lower the cost for cancer patients who take a pill instead of intravenous chemotherapy.

Senate Bill 266 would bar insurance policies that cover cancer from imposing a higher copay for an oral prescription than for chemotherapy administered intravenously or by injection.

Advocates for the bill told lawmakers that cancer patients could be charged a copay of nearly $3,000 for the oral treatment, while an individual who takes intravenous treatment pays nothing.

The bill sets a copay limit of $100 for the pill therapy.

Twenty-three states have adopted similar laws with no adverse impact on premiums, supporters said.

The Senate last week agreed with an Assembly amendment to make the bill effective in January 2015. The measure now goes to Gov. Brian Sandoval for his signature.

The bill does not require insurance policies to cover cancer treatment.

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