chemotherapy treatment options and policies

Chemotherapy Treatment Options and Policies

By Jennifer Breshears Wheeler
and Karmen Hanson
Vol . 20, No. 19 / May 2012

General Information

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Eight states and Washington, D.C., require insurers to cover oral and intravenous chemo drugs similarly.

Medical innovation continues to broaden treatment options for serious illnesses. Chemotherapy treatments for cancer, for example, have advanced in recent years to include, along with intravenous or injected methods, a variety of orally administered drugs. Many of these slow or stop the cancer cells without affecting the normal cells. A number of factors come into play when doctors and patients choose which medicines to use, including their effectiveness, convenience, costs, safety, patient compliance, and insurance coverage. Since 2007, state lawmakers in at least 15 states and Washington, D.C., have passed policies related to patients' access to and insurance coverage of these new oral chemotherapy drugs.


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