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Cancer treatment bill tentatively passes NC House

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A bill requiring health insurers in North Carolina to charge the same for oral cancer drugs as traditional intravenous medications has received initial approval from the House.

The measure passed Wednesday by a wide margin despite lengthy debate. Republican Rep. David Lewis of Dunn said his bill ensures fairness for those who can't or choose not to take IV chemotherapy.

Opponents argued the bill amounts to a new mandate for insurers that gives special treatment to one group and raises premiums for all.

Supporters said the 24 other states that have similar laws haven't experienced significant premium increases.

The bill will return for a final vote and a likely attempt to amend the bill from opponents who want to set separate caps on out-of-pocket costs for specialty drugs.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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