Bill helping more Oklahomans access biomarker tests becomes law
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation to help more Oklahomans access medical biomarker tests has been signed into law. Sen. Paul Rosino, R-Oklahoma City, is the principal author of Senate Bill 513, and said this measure was his top priority for the 2023 legislative session.
“Biomarker tests help doctors determine the best treatment for a patient from the very beginning. They’re predominately used in cancer care, but are increasingly important for other diseases like arthritis and other autoimmune conditions and rare diseases, with additional research underway for Alzheimer’s and more,” Rosino said. “These tests save time, money and improve survivorship and quality of life. This is a tremendous step forward as we work to improve health outcomes in Oklahoma.”
Rosino pointed to a survey where 66 percent of oncology providers reported that insurance coverage has been a significant or moderate barrier to appropriate biomarker testing for their patients. However, he noted the largest insurance group for state employees estimated the cost would only be 14 to 23 cents a month per employee. By identifying the most effective treatment from the start, unnecessary, ineffective treatments can be avoided, resulting in cost savings.
“Most importantly, by removing barriers to biomarker tests, we’re going to save lives,” Rosino said.
Rep. Nicole Miller, R-Edmond, is the House principal author of SB 513.
“As a cancer survivor myself, I know firsthand that the one thing a cancer patient doesn’t have is time. With cancer being the second leading cause of death in Oklahoma, we must remove barriers to biomarker testing to ensure all patients benefit from the best possible care,” Miller said. “I’m happy to be a part of the effort to deliver targeted therapies and precision medicine for the highest level of effectiveness for the thousands of Oklahomans in the cancer battle, survivors and previvors.”
SB 513 will take effect on Jan. 1, 2024.