Letters to the Editor

Caufield letter: Senate Bill 1273

Idaho State Legislature: Please pass the Oral Chemotherapy Parity Act.

It was the mightiest of storms during my father’s battle with leukemia. I miss him.

So, to honor his memory, I write on behalf of all Idaho residents still facing the daunting reality of not being able to get access to the prescription drugs they need; which could benefit their survival.

Idaho is one of six states without parity (equality) for chemotherapy medications. The reason is based on a reimbursement structure that covers IV chemotherapy as a medical benefit but considers a less welcomed, oral chemotherapy to be part of a patient’s drug plan, typically being far less generous.

Oral Chemotherapy Parity offers many benefits to patients such as:

1. Patients continuing with their careers.

2. The potential to reduce other cancers; even future bound.

3. Reducing certain cancers like multiple myeloma and chronic myelogenous leukemia to chronic (constant) vs. acute (critical).

4. Helping to lower employee absenteeism and costs.

5. Oral chemotherapy working better than intravenous.

6. Providing oral chemotherapy to patients living long distances from treatment centers.

Senate bill 1273 inaugurates a new section of code so patients taking oral treatment will have similar out-of-pocket costs as those on traditional treatment.

Kelly Caufield, Nampa