LaFave given ‘Cancer Fighter Award’ for co-sponsoring chemotherapy bill

LANSING — Cancer patients, family members, and a broad coalition of advocate organizations from across Michigan announced that state Rep. Beau LaFave, R-Iron Mountain, has received the 2018 “Cancer Fighter Award” for leadership in Lansing defending patients, fighting disease, and working to improve access to lifesaving medicines and treatments.

LaFave cosponsored House Bill 5367, bipartisan legislation to improve patients’ access to oral chemotherapy drugs.

The legislation would help lower monthly out-of-pocket costs for some patients whose physicians believe oral anti-cancer medications are a better treatment option for them than intravenous treatments.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 50,000 Michigan residents are newly diagnosed with cancer each year — 137 per day.

According to a recent study, legislation such as LaFave’s House Bill 5367 is effective at lowering out-of-pocket costs for patients at no increased costs to insurers.

LaFave is working to ensure Michigan patients have the same rights and access to care as patients in 43 other states and the District of Columbia that have already enacted similar reforms to make oral anti-cancer prescriptions more affordable.

Last year, the Michigan state Senate approved similar legislation with an overwhelming and bipartisan margin of 36-1.

“Representative LaFave’s leadership on House Bill 5367 and others couldn’t be more important for cancer patients and their families,” said Dr. Jerome Seid, president of the Michigan Society of Hematology and Oncology. “For some patients, oral chemotherapy is the only effective treatment, and getting the right medicine is literally a matter of life or death. We are incredibly grateful for the representative’s willingness to stand up for cancer patients.”

House Bill 5367 is currently awaiting a hearing in the House Committee on Health Policy.

The Cancer Fighter Award is presented jointly by:

— AIM at Melanoma Foundation

–American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

— American Lung Association

–American Society of Clinical Oncology

–American Society of Hematology

— Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services

— Cancer Support Community Ann Arbor

— Colon Cancer Alliance

–Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids

— Gilda’s Club Detroit

–Greater Lansing Oncology Nursing Society

–International Myeloma Foundation

— Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

— Metro Detroit Chapter Oncology Nursing Society

— Michigan Breast Cancer Alliance

— Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance

— Michigan Society of Hematology & Oncology

— National Patient Advocacy Foundation

— Sisters Network Greater Metropolitan Detroit

— Susan G. Komen Michigan

— Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Detroit.