Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m not one to make a fuss about things and I am reluctant to reach out and ask for help. I am now however facing a challenge that I have realized I can’t possibly tackle on my own, and so I’m now asking for your help.
Treatments for lung cancer have been rapidly progressing in recent years and more and more advanced, targeted therapies are being developed that have dramatically improved responses and improved quality of life with fewer side effects. Unfortunately, my insurer - Blue Cross Blue Shield - is not keeping up with these rapid changes and is refusing to cover the medication - Tagrisso - that was recommended by my doctors as the best alternative given my condition.
It is unacceptable to me that BCBS feels they can play with peoples lives by declining access to the best treatments available to their customers. The drug Tagrisso has demonstrated through recent phase 3 clinical trials that it has a higher rate of response and a superior period of progression free survival, yet they refuse to cover the drug and instead leave me with less desirable treatments for my condition or massive out of pocket costs. This is despite the fact that:
1. The US National Comprehensive Cancer Network Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology updated their guidelines to include the use of Tagrisso as a first-line treatment for my form of lung cancer.
2. The FDA has given Tagrisso the “Breakthrough Therapy Designation” thereby fast-tracking the approval process acknowledging the potential for this drug to become the new standard of care for first-line treatment for my form of lung cancer.
3. Tagrisso is approved already by the FDA for use in second-line treatments for my form of lung cancer.
I’ve done my part by paying for health insurance for my entire adult life, now it’s their turn to step up and prove to me that they care about me as their customer and providing me access to the best treatments available. I deserve it.
This is where I’d like everyone’s help. I’d like your help in putting my story out there so they step up and cover the costs of my treatments as they should. I’m not asking them to cover some outrageous, unproven trial therapy; I am asking for coverage for what almost certainly soon will be the standard of care for those with my condition.
So please post, like, share, tweet, and retweet my story until they step up and take on their responsibility as my insurer. It’s unacceptable for one of the largest insurers in this country to not be on top of these advancements and to be overriding the recommendations of the medical professionals that are guiding my care.
Until then, if you’d like to help in supporting the costs of my treatments, you may do so through my gofundme page. Should Blue Cross Blue Shield step up and cover the costs of my medications as I’m asking them to do, any remaining funds will be donated to lung cancer research.
Thank you all for you continued support. Your thoughts, prayers and other messages of hope all help to brighten my every day.
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