House committee passes Parker bill creating charitable pharmacy for low-income cancer patients
Under legislation approved today by the House Health Care and Wellness Committee low-income cancer patients could receive unused and unopened, expensive cancer drugs turned back into the prescribing pharmacy free of charge.
The legislation, House Bill 2458 and sponsored by Rep. Kevin Parker, R-Spokane, is being called the “Cancer Can't Charitable Pharmacy Act.”
“We can help low income people that maybe can't afford expensive cancer drugs or whose health insurance doesn't cover them,” said Parker. “This proposal will allow pharmacies to receive certain unused, unopened medications from individuals or their representatives if they want to pass them on to those in need. If a person is in remission, has passed away or has chosen to forego certain treatments, these very expensive drugs often go to waste.”
Parker said the idea for the bill came to him from constituents Johnathan and Becky Van Keulen. Johnathan was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer but wants to do what he can for others who are experiencing some of the things he has. They visited with Parker in Olympia and with his help, their idea quickly found its way moving through the legislative process.
“I have so much respect and admiration for Johnathan and Becky and the countless others in our communities who confront this horrible disease head on,” said Parker. “Johnathan just wanted to be able to help others and use the time he has left to make life easier on others. It's absolutely my privilege to sponsor this bill and shepherd it through the process. I trust my colleagues will see the wisdom and value in this legislation and we can get it passed into law so that the Van Keulen's have the confidence knowing they made a distinct difference in the lives of others.”
HB 2458 now moves to the House Rules Committee where it is eligible to be pulled to the House floor for deliberation and debate by all the House members.
SUGGESTED PHOTO CAPTION: Johnathan and Becky Van Keulen visit with Rep. Kevin Parker on the House floor. Johnathan was diagnosed with bone cancer and would like to make some of his expensive left-over medication available for those in need.
###Washington State House Republican Communications