On Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed into law a new bill to ensure immediate access to treatment for stage IV cancer patients in Ohio &mdash; a move that cancer physicians with The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center &ndash; Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC &ndash; James) cite as of critical importance for patients facing advanced cancers. Physician and governmental affairs leaders at the OSUCCC &ndash; James worked with State Sen. Bob Hackett (R-London) and State Sen. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) to draft and present this new legislation for consideration in December 2019. The bill was approved by the Ohio Senate on December 8, 2020. Under this newly approved bill, insurance providers in Ohio are now required to eliminate &ldquo;fail first&rdquo; provisions that require patients to first try an insurers&rsquo; preferred and often generic alternative drug prior to receiving financial coverage for the therapy prescribed by a treating physician. &ldquo;We are enormously excited to see the overwhelming bipartisan support of Senate Bill 252 in the Ohio House and Senate. I want to extend our deepest gratitude to Senators Craig and Hackett for introducing this bill, which will allow the OSUCCC &ndash; James to provide faster care for our stage IV patients that was not yet possible before,&rdquo; said Hal Paz, MD, executive vice president and chancellor for health affairs at The Ohio State University and CEO of The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. &ldquo;Signing this bill is an exciting and important step in further advancing the world-class care our patients receive at the OSUCCC &ndash; James.\" Cancer is a complex series of diseases that requires tailored treatments that are often driven by the unique characteristics of a patient&rsquo;s tumor. &ldquo;Generic&rdquo; alternatives often involve older, less effective treatment options with more side effects. Studies show tailored treatments are resulting in better cancer control and fewer side effects for patients who qualify for newer, molecularly driven targeted therapies. Approximately 20% of patients diagnosed at the OSUCCC &ndash; James have stage IV disease, meaning that their cancer has advanced beyond the primary organ site and into nearby tissues, lymph nodes, organs and other areas of the body. &ldquo;Patients with stage IV cancer simply don&rsquo;t have time to waste. This newly approved bill to remove &lsquo;fail first&rsquo; provisions is a tremendous win for stage IV cancer patients in Ohio who &mdash; until now &mdash; would have had restricted access to newer targeted therapies as a first course of treatment for cancer and its associated conditions. The first oath in medicine is to do no harm. This new legislation clears the way to allow cancer physicians to make treatment recommendations for patients based on what drug science tells us is most likely to achieve cancer control for that specific patient without financial constraints imposed by third-party payors,&rdquo; says OSUCCC director Raphael Pollock, MD, PhD, a surgical oncologist specializing in sarcoma at The James. Ohio&rsquo;s stage IV cancer legislation follows precedents set in Texas, Georgia, Delaware, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, Louisiana, Arkansas, Colorado, Maryland and North Dakota that mandated removal of &ldquo;fail first&rdquo; provisions that require patients to first try the preferred and often generic alternative drug prior to receiving coverage for their physician&rsquo;s prescribed therapy. This bill allows patients with solid tumors immediate access to the treatment chosen by their physician for cancer and its associated conditions. Under this new legislation, insurance providers are now required to provide immediate access for medicines that meet one of three criteria: Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of cancer and associated conditions; Included in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) drugs and biologics compendia for treatment of the disease; Supported by peer-reviewed medical literature as best practice for the treatment of stage IV disease. The bill does not apply to experimental clinical trials, which are managed through a separate process. To learn more about patient care at the OSUCCC &ndash; James, call 1-800-293-5066.