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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: March 8, 2017 12:47 PM
From: Representative Matthew E. Baker
To: All House members
Subject: Stage IV Metastatic Cancer Coverage
In the near future, I plan to introduce necessary legislation to grant Stage IV Metastatic cancer patients access to the medication and treatments prescribed by their doctors.

As a standard practice, Stage IV patients typically must first try an insurance-mandated series of medications and fail to improve before being granted access to the oncology medication and treatments prescribed by their doctor. These policies are often referred to as “step therapy or fail first” policies.

By definition, metastatic patients are experiencing an expansion of their cancer to new parts and organs in the body. Time is of the essence for these vulnerable patients – and delays in treatment are matters of life and death.

A similar measure, The Hon. Jimmy Carter Cancer Treatment Access Act, was signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal on May 4, 2016 with unanimous, bipartisan support from Georgia’s General Assembly. Republican and Democratic legislators are actively working to pass this legislation in several states around the country.

I hope you will join me in putting critical medical decisions back in the hands of doctors and Pennsylvania’s late-stage cancer patients.

Introduced as HB1280