Jimmy Carter Inspires Legislation Providing Open Access To Cancer Cures

  • by: Robert Goldberg |
  • 02/24/2016
Jimmy Carter's successful battle with advanced melanoma was achieved because he was able to use newest, most effective drug available rather than being forced to fail on other treatments by health plans and PBMs.

Now policymakers want to make sure you don't have to be an ex-President to get the best treatment immediately:

Georgia Bill Inspired by Jimmy Carter's Cancer Treatment

Georgia lawmakers have approved a bill inspired by former President Jimmy Carter's cancer treatment.

The bill prevents insurance companies from limiting coverage of drugs for stage 4 cancer patients.

Carter, now 91, announced in August that he had been diagnosed with skin cancer that had spread to his brain and would begin receiving doses of Keytruda. The newly approved drug helps his immune system seek out cancer cells appearing in his body.

Carter said in December that a scan of his brain detected no sign of cancer cells. He has continued treatment.

Republican Rep. Mike Cheokas from Americus is the bill's sponsor. Cheokas said no one facing cancer that has spread should have medical treatment options limited by insurance providers.

The bill now goes to the state Senate for review.

In introducing the bill, Representative Cheokas said something that should be a campaign slogan nation-wide: "Cancer is a non-partisan issue. It affects young and old, black and white, rich or poor; It really doesn't matter." 

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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