FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LEGISLATIVE VICTORIES FOR ONCOLOGY PATIENTS IN ALABAMA & OKLAHOMA
The NCODA Legislative & Policy Advisory Committee wants to commend the Oklahoma Legislature and Governor Kevin Stitt for signing HB 2678 into law. Oklahoma HB 2678 was focused around Co-Pay Accumulators and would prohibit the use of CPA programs. NCODA has been at the forefront of this issue and speaking out against the use of CPA throughout the country and has been steadfast in the idea that these Co-Pay Accumulator programs eliminate the value of a drug manufacturer’s financial assistance to patients. This unfortunately increases the patient’s out of pocket cost and make it increasingly difficult for patients to access and receive the most affordable, high-level cancer care.
Our committee feels that it is necessary to celebrate the wins from around the country when states are able to focus on the needs of patients and pass bills into law that will shape the landscape and provide patients with the best possible chance to receive the care they deserve. NCODA’s focus is always patient-centric and we strongly believe that the state and federal governments should adopt the same mindset and focus on improving the lives of cancer patients from coast to coast. While battling cancer, patients should not have to worry about being able to afford the cost of their medications or potentially the lack of access to the preferred medication recommended by their physician. .
Oklahoma was not the only state to recently secure a major victory for patients, Alabama was able to follow suit and SB 227 was recently signed into law. This law regulates Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and will be going into effect on July 1st. Some of the major victories that were highlighted in the bill were:
1) Allowing a pharmacy to inform a patient about more affordable drug if one is available.
2) Prohibits the exclusive use of a mail-order pharmacy or a PBM affiliate pharmacy.
3) Requires a PBM to allow a pharmacy to participate in a network if the pharmacy agrees to the terms and conditions of the network contract, including reimbursements.
4) Allows a PBM to notify a patient that a less costly option for a specific prescription drug is available through a mail-order pharmacy or PBM affiliate, provided the notification states that switching to the less costly option is not mandatory.
NCODA is thrilled with these advancements and continues to focus on improving access to the best treatment options for patients. We hope that this positive trend will continue throughout the country and patients’ lives can be improved as barriers to affordable care are removed.