SB161 Oral Cancer Drug Bill Veto

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Thank you to everyone who signed petitions, responded to Komen for the Cure’s e-mail blast or sent letters asking Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger not to veto SB161, Senator Wright’s oral cancer drug bill.  Unfortunately, the governor vetoed the bill stating that those with health insurance already have coverage for oral anticancer medications and that the bill would limit a plan’s ability to control both the appropriateness of the care and the cost by requiring them to immediately cover every medication as soon as it receives federal approval regardless of the provisions of the health plan’s formulary, placing them at a severe disadvantage when negotiating prices with drug manufacturers.

 However, the governor said that he believes that oral anticancer medications can be more cost-effective and efficacious in some instances and if there is a way to provide greater access without increasing overall costs he would be willing to reconsider such a measure next year.  He is encouraging a collaborative approach with his administration, health plans and the pharmaceutical manufacturers on this topic.

 Senator Wright’s office has indicated that they want to pursue new legislation in this area next year, so the fight is not over and we will continue to try to effect positive changes to our health care system.  We hope that you will continue to support the Advocacy Alliance and our efforts to empower people, ensure access to quality care and energize science to find the cures.

If you are interested in becoming more involved in Public Policy with Komen Orange County, please contact Erin Touslee at etouslee@komenoc.org. National advocacy information is posted at www.komenadvocacy.org/

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