COLUMBUS–The Ohio Senate today passed Senate Bill 230, jointly sponsored by Senators Scott Oelslager (R–North Canton) and Gayle Manning (R–North Ridgeville), which would establish standards for the delivery of non-self-injectable cancer medications.

The drugs are fragile and complex and must be stored in the proper environment to work effectively.  The practice, commonly known as “brown bagging” leads to higher patient safety risk and an increased waste of expensive drugs.  The legislation improves patient safety, promotes better health outcomes, and reduces unnecessary waste in the healthcare system.

“Patients deserve to receive treatment in the safest and most effective way,” said Oelslager. “This legislation would keep our patients and families safe, and keep costly and fragile medications in the hands of medical professionals where they belong.”

“Brown bagging” of chemotherapy drugs, is a process in which an insurance company uses a wholesale supplier to ship oncology drugs to a patient’s pharmacy or home. The patient would then have to transport the medication from their home to their physician on their own.

Brown bag transportation of these medications leaves unnecessary room for human error by which the drugs could be compromised before reaching the physician and being administered on the patient. The oncologist’s ability to detect compromise in the drugs is also limited as visual inspection alone is insufficient. This puts the integrity of the patient’s medication in their own hands and those of their mail carrier.

Senator Oelslager worked with The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center –Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, American Cancer Society, Ohio Hematology Oncology Society, Ohio State Medical Association, and the Ohio Pharmacists Association while developing the legislation.

Senate Bill 230 will now proceed to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.


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