- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Supporters of a bill requiring health insurance companies to charge North Carolina patients the same price or less for oral drugs for cancer compared to intravenous medications say the mandate is about fairness and helping the sick afford suitable medications.

The House voted Tuesday night for the measure designed to bring down the cost of pills for patients, which can be much higher than the expense of sitting for IV drippings.

A similar bill passed the House two years ago but stalled in the Senate. The 2013 bill contained a provision that would allow insurers to charge up to $300 per oral prescription. A $500 co-pay oral proposal offered Tuesday night failed, so the measure contains no such wiggle room.

The bill passed 104-10 and goes to the Senate.

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