New Arizona Law: Insurance Must Cover Cancer Biomarker Tests

A bill signed by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday would require health insurance companies and the state’s Medicaid plan to pay for so-called “biomarker tests” that are required for many modern cancer treatments.

Law signing has been approved by the American Cancer Society, which has called biomarker testing an important step in evaluating accurate cancer treatments. Measuring the presence of certain biomarkers, such as gene mutations, allows doctors to better target certain cancers and can lead to fewer side effects and better quality of life and survival rates.

“Nearly 60% of oncology drugs released in the past five years require or recommend biomarker testing before use,” said Brian Hummell, director of government relations for the American Cancer Society’s Arizona Cancer Action Network. “And the percentage of cancer clinical trials that involve biomarkers has grown significantly.”

The bill passed with overwhelming support in the Legislative Assembly.

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He was supported by several major hospitals, pharmaceutical and testing companies, and the Cancer Society. This was opposed by several major insurance companies and their national association, America’s health insurance plans, and the major Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

The measure was sponsored by Republican Regina Cobb of Kingman.

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