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Below is an appeal from Tom Henry, a pharmacist, CLL patient, and longtime friend of the CLL community and the CLL Society. CLL Society is supportive of oral parity for the reasons Tom explains.
Seven members of the U.S. House of Representatives from both parties have introduced H.R. 4385 to address the high costs some CLL/SLL patients pay for their targeted oral therapies. Please take a few minutes to contact your U.S. Representative today.
The treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)/small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) has changed dramatically since the introduction of the first targeted treatment, ibrutinib, in 2014. Before this, most CLL/SLL patients received injected chemoimmunotherapy. Insurers cover these injected medications under the medical portion of your plan, while your prescription coverage pays for the oral medications. This practice has led to preferential cost treatment where patients pay very small or no copay for the injected drugs and face copays of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
This bill would require insurers to treat both forms of cancer medication equally. Please take a few minutes to contact your member of the U.S. House of Representatives today!
I have prepared a sample letter you can use to get started, but please consider adding your own story to give it more meaning. You can find the sample letter here.
You can find your U.S. House member by using this link.
The passage of legislation is a numbers game; the more people that communicate support for a bill to their representative, the better the chance the bill is approved. Your help could make a difference for all CLL warriors.
Thanks for your Help! Stay Strong!
Thomas E. Henry III is a Registered Pharmacist and CLL Patient. He is President and Senior Consultant for Burlington Consulting Associates, a company that provides consulting services to health systems nationwide. Tom is a CLL Society Expert Medical Council member and strives to educate other CLL patients through his blog https//www.cllpharmacist.com. He has a forty-two-year career as a licensed pharmacist and has served as Chief Pharmacy Officer at two Top-15 Comprehensive Cancer Centers, Moffitt (Tampa, FL) and Roswell Park Cancer Institute (Buffalo, NY).