Cancer Survivors Want Insurance to Cover Oral Meds - NBC 6 South Florida

Cancer Survivors Want Insurance to Cover Oral Meds

The women gathered at Miami City Hall



    50 women went to Miami City Hall to ask officials to support a bill that will make it easier to afford life-saving medicine. (Published Monday, Aug. 1, 2011)


    Fifty women in pink took to Miami City Hall on Monday with a very important message.
    They want Florida representatives to support legislation that will make it easier to afford livesaving medication.
    Life takes on a whole new meaning when your doctor prescribes an expensive drug to battle a life threatening disease and you find yourself scrambling to survive.
    "It's $4,000 a month,” Debra Giardina said about the two prescriptions she must take everyday.
    It's the price many cancer patients are paying to stay alive. Giardina has battled breast cancer for four years now. She's joining a host of other cancer survivors encouraging Florida legislators to require insurance companies cover oral cancer drugs equal to coverage of IV chemotherapy.
    Already 15 states have passed similar legislation. Florida has not.
    "I want you to approve what's needed to keep cancer patients alive. Twenty five years ago I was given an oral drug and almost was not able to take it 25 years ago and now 25 years later we still don’t' have that same equality between oral drugs and IV drugs," Giardina said.
    Cancer survivors in South Florida are saying it's time to take action.
    “If it came in IV form, a bag and needle dropping into your arm, it would be covered 100 percent. However, insurance feel they don't have to pay for these because its falling under pharmacy drugs with your insurance policy and who knows until you need it that pills could possibly cost $4000 a month?” Giardina said.
    So far, a dozen other states have similar bills pending.  To get more information click on the Susan G. Komen website.