COLUMBUS – Senator Gayle Manning (R- North Ridgeville) this morning testified before the Senate Medicaid, Health and Human Services Committee in support of her bill that would promote better patient safety and access to certain types of cancer medications.
Senate Bill 230, which Senator Manning jointly introduced with Senator Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton), would prohibit insurance companies from requiring the delivery of certain types of dangerous non-self-injectable cancer medications to patients’ homes – a practice known as “brown bagging.”
“This legislation is about patient safety,” said Manning.  “The goal of Senate Bill 230 is to ensure that patients and their families are kept safe from handling these potentially toxic chemotherapy drugs in their homes, and to ensure the most effective treatments are available to cancer patients – patients who have incredible battles with which to cope.”
Brown bagging is a term coined to describe the practice of an insurer requiring its subscribers to receive highly volatile oncology drugs from a wholesale supplier directly, often via mail-order pharmacy.  In such an insurance contract, the patient must then transport the drugs to the oncologist’s office in a “brown bag” for infusion.  The practice of brown bagging therefore creates opportunity for both patient safety and drug effectiveness to be inadvertently compromised. 
Senate Bill 230 will keep quality control of these drugs in the hands of medical professionals, allowing for safe and effective administration of these very costly medications.    
“Senate Bill 230 will eliminate one more obstacle in patient access to safe and effective treatments in the fight against cancer,” Manning added.
Proponents of the bill include The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center –Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital, the American Cancer Society, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, International Myeloma Foundation and the Ohio Hematology Oncology Society.

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