N.C. cancer patients’ lives are at stake if Senate doesn’t act this week

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Cancer patients increasingly take pills for their treatment rather than injections. But insurance rules make them far more expensive. Diedra Laird 2015 file photo

A cancer diagnosis is one of the most disrupting and frightening experiences a person can go through. I know because it happened to me just last year.

I live with two forms of blood cancer – myelodysplastic syndrome and myelofibrosis. I am also one of the fortunate ones. Ongoing treatment has so far been successful in keeping the cancer in check, but I live with the reality that my body will stop responding so positively and I will need a new treatment game plan.

And unless the North Carolina Senate acts this week on legislation bringing fairness to cancer health coverage, I will also continue living with the reality that I might not be able to afford the next treatment I need, even though I have health insurance.


Student Graduates in Dying Mom’s Hospital Room

For many years, intravenous (IV) delivery was the primary method for administering the medicines used to treat cancer, but these days, many of the frontline cancer treatments are in pill form – used in conjunction with injectable or IV therapies, or even in place of them.

In fact, well over one-third of the anti-cancer medications approved by the Food & Drug Administration over the last two years are in pill form. For many cancers, the most effective and appropriate form of treatment comes in a pill, and for some cancers, such as chronic myeloid leukemia, an oral therapy is the only available treatment option.

Despite the need for oral anti-cancer medications, some health plans in North Carolina require patients to pay a large sum for them, often in the thousands of dollars, as opposed to the more reasonable fixed copay charge for IV treatments. The high costs make it difficult and often impossible for cancer patients to get the therapies their doctors prescribe. Without those prescribed therapies the prospects for continued life are extremely limited.

The sobering reality is that cancer is the leading cause of death in our state, with nearly 57,000 North Carolinians diagnosed each year. And yet, North Carolina is one of only seven states that hasn’t enacted legislation requiring health insurers to cover oral anti-cancer medications in the same way they cover injectable or IV chemotherapy.

The state House passed such legislation – known as the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act (HB 206) – this year and during the past two legislative sessions, yet it has never gotten a hearing in the Senate.

With the clock ticking down on this year’s session, time is of the essence for the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act and for the many North Carolinians that it would help. I hope senators will finally listen to our voices and allow the legislation to move forward.

Health insurance is a pool we all pay into so that we can afford care if or when we need it. No North Carolinian should have to forego the necessary treatment prescribed by their doctor because insurers do not cover oral anti-cancer medications in a fair way. It’s time to bring insurance policies in line with modern medicine – and in line with the rest of the country – and make cancer care fair in North Carolina.



Marcato Capital takes stake in crane manufacturer Terex

A Terex reach stacker transports a CMA CGM SA shipping container in the Med Europe Terminal at the Port of Marseille, France.

Balint Porneczi | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A Terex reach stacker transports a CMA CGM SA shipping container in the Med Europe Terminal at the Port of Marseille, France.

Just days after announcing a substantial new position in the restaurant chain operator Buffalo Wild Wings, the hedge fund Marcato Capital Management plans to announce a new 5.1 percent position in the crane maker Terex, according to someone familiar with the matter.

Shares of Terex jumped more than 4 percent to around $24 on CNBC’s televised report of the stake. Shares were very briefly halted after the report but resumed trading almost immediately.

That stake, which could be announced as early as Thursday afternoon, is based on Marcato’s belief that Terex is worth more than its current price — and that selling certain parts of its industrial business and streamlining others through restructuring, cost savings, and other measures could improve margins substantially, this person added.

Marcato thinks highly of Terex’s current chief, John Garrison Jr., the person said, a fact that could ease discussions between the hedge fund and the company.

Terex has been in the news of late thanks to two cross-border acquisition attempts, one by the Finnish competitors Konecranes and a second by the Chinese equipment manufacturer Zoomlion, both of which ultimately fell apart.

“We welcome Marcato as a shareholder and appreciate their confidence in our business and management,” a Terex official told CNBC. “We look forward to listening to ideas that could help improve our company and enhance shareholder value.”

Marcato, which manages some $1.5 billion from its San Francisco headquarters, is run by Mick McGuire, a former protégé of the activist investor Bill Ackman.

Nissan to buy majority stake in Mitsubishi vehicles

Nissan to buy majority stake in Mitsubishi motors

eleaguered automaker Mitsubishi may additionally get a short reprieve as word has emerged that Nissan willbuy a 33 per cent stake in them. They (Nissan) are anticipated to invest about 1.8 billion USD and the 33 in step with cent percentage would make Nissan Mitsubishi’s biggest shareholder.

If Nissan is going beforehand with the move, it is going to be a first-rate boost for Mitsubishi in phrases of capital, technical assist and manifestly growth of model variety. The business enterprise’s proportion valuetook a primary hit the day it introduced the scandal and has been suffering to come again from the identical.

Mitsubishi had on April 20 revealed that it had been falsifying gas economic system ratings for four models that it produced which includes that it synthetic for Nissan. It stated that it had carried out the desired testsimproperly to provide better intake charges.