Health insurance

Arizona health insurance providers will now cover cancer ‘biomarker tests’

PHOENIX — A bill signed into law Friday by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey requires health insurers and the state’s Medicaid plan to pay for so-called “biomarker tests” that are needed for many modern treatments for cancer. the cancer.

The signing of the legislation was welcomed by the American Cancer Society, which called biomarker testing a critical step in evaluating precision cancer treatments. Measuring the presence of certain biomarkers such as genetic mutations allows doctors to better target certain cancers and may lead to fewer side effects and better quality of life and survival rates.

“Nearly 60% of oncology drugs launched in the last five years require or recommend biomarker testing before use,” said Brian Hummell, director of government relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in Arizona. “And the percentage of cancer clinical trials involving biomarkers has increased dramatically.”

The bill passed with overwhelming support in the Legislative Assembly.

Several major health insurers and their national association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce opposed it.

It sponsored by Republican Rep. Reginal Cobb of Kingman has been backed by several major hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, testing companies, the Mayo Clinic, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the Cancer Society.

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