Senator Breslin Makes Newer Cancer Therapies Available to Patients

Neil D. Breslin

June 10, 2010

For Immediate Release: June 10, 2010
Contact: Evan Schneider││518-455-2225

(Albany, NY)-The Senate Democratic Majority recently passed legislation (S7408A) sponsored by Senator Neil D. Breslin (D-Delmar), Chair of the Insurance Committee, that will make more progressive treatments for New Yorkers suffering from cancer available.

“It is imperative that the laws of New York keep up with the pace of innovation and clinical discovery to allow patients timely access to the most appropriate treatment options in their battle against cancer,”  Senator Breslin said.  “These well established reference compendia help physicians in their ability to access cutting-edge cancer treatments for their patients.”

A uniform policy for the reimbursement of drugs utilized in the treatment of cancer was originally established in New York in 1990.  Included in this policy was a listing of standard reference compendia, a list of reference materials that are used to determine insurance coverage for “off label” cancer treatments.  Such compendia assist physicians in their ability to access cutting-edge cancer treatments for their patients.

However, New York has not updated its compendia related to the reimbursement of cancer treatment drug treatments since 1990.  Currently, New York law still references two standard reference compendia for drugs used in the treatment of cancer (the American Medical Association Drug Evaluations and the United states Pharmacopoeia-Drug Information) which are no longer published due to changes in the pharmaceutical reference industry.   

This legislation would simply update the law and existing policies to remove the references to these outdated sources and to add three additional compendia (NCCN Drugs and Biologics Compendium, Thomson Micromedex DrugDex, and Elsevier Gold Standard's Clinical Pharmacology).