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The Boston Globe

Metro

Cancer drug bill moves through the state Senate

Legislation that would require health insurers to cover chemotherapy equally, regardless of whether it was given intravenously or in pill form, passed the state Senate late Thursday evening and is being sent to the House.

The bill was drafted to address an inequality in cancer care: Many patients who receive chemotherapy through an infusion have their care covered by insurance or pay a copayment for their office visit, whereas pills often have higher out-of-pocket costs. The disparity has grown in importance as the trend in cancer drug development has meant a surge in treatments administered as pills. According to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, eight of 11 chemotherapies approved since 2010 are given in pill form.

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